Blame It on the Time Change

What the hell is up with the YMCA tonight? Is there such a thing as Organized Anarchy?

Trying not to drown in the washing machine wakes of a gazillion circle swimmers was not PP’s idea of a swim. And after she’d just been going on and on to her friend MC while walking round Lake Merritt about how restorative swimming was.

“Sometimes I get outta Therapy and I’m so wrung out, I wonder what the hell is that all about? Like I’m more depressed after Therapy than before it,” MC had lamented as they turned the corner next to Children’s Fairy Land, making there way back toward the Bird Sanctuary on the West side of the Lake.

PP had nodded, knowing exactly what MC was talking about. What was it about Therapy that made you feel worse?

Hell, swimming never did that. Unless, you timed it wrong. Like on aMonday night at 6 p.m. when all the after work swimmers were pouring into your lane causing circle swim overload.

PP hates circle swimming. It just sucks. It can work out for a little while if everyone is the same speed, but this happens so rarely at the YMCA. No one is the same speed. Or no one is PP’s speed, which is all that matters!

Do you wanna hear all the gory details? Of course you do. When first PP arrived, it was manageable. 2 to a lane. One lane had 3 swimmers that seemed to be calmly circle swimming. PP had sighed. Damn. Circle swimming. But oh well, she just wanted a short swim having already walked the Lake with MC. Choosing a two person lane, PP set her fins, kickboard and pull buoy on the deck, preparing to get into the water. Lucky for her, Tattoo Lion Woman was on her way out. Stretching a cramp out at the side.

“You can have my lane,” TLW had smiled warmly, nodding.
“Thanks.” PP dipped a toe in. “Damn! It feels cold!”
“Yeah….it is a little. I think that’s why I got this cramp. Oh, and I don’t spend enough time stretching.”
“Me neither.”
PP never stretched. Didn’t usually get cramps either. Had never thought of the two being connected. Thought that cramps were from some sort of vitamin or mineral deficiency. Not enough magnesium or calcium. But maybe cramps were from not stretching for some swimmers. LTW sounded like she knew what she was talking about.

Admiring, LTW’s roaring lion arm tattoo, PP hopped in as the splashy mid-aged African American Guy stopped at the wall. Usually PP woulda said hello, but he didn’t even glance up at her. Deep in the exhaustion zone.

They shared a lane for 20 minutes or so, side by side, but actually Splashy AAG took up most of the lane. PP hated this. Why can’t swimmers stay on their own side? Good thing she was small. She could squeeze by them most of the time, though once in awhile there was some leg bonking.

Then the Anarchy started. 6 p.m. PP watched as swimmers poured outta the locker rooms and piled into the crowded pool. It didn’t take much to make the pool crowded. 5 lanes, with 10 people could suddenly become 5 lanes with 20 people and then watch out. It was crash city!

PP stuck with her circle swimming for a while. But it was an ordeal, esp. when the two Asian kids got in her lane, and hell, they were not swimmers! Standing in the middle of the lane, laughing, then jumping around while PP and the other swimmers tried to keep doing their laps. Finally, PP had had enough even though no way had she even done 2000 yards.

Oh, well, the hot tub was really why she’d come. The walk round the lake had been chilly and cold. Achy. PP was not ready to be cold for 6 months. How could it be that she lived in California and she was still cold all the time?

Blame it on the cancer. No sun anymore. This did impact her mightily. But, tonight at least after the circle swim mayhem she could escape to the hot tub.

Hot tub therapy. It always worked.

And it did. PP eased into the warm bubbles and closed her eyes. Ahhhh….

This was the life. Another woman got in with dangly earrings and serious gentle bouncing at the jets. What’s that about, PP wondered? Did she have those Benji balls inside her and when she gently bounced up and down it felt good? No Benji was a dog in those obnoxious Disney movies.

Well, you know what she means. And PP liked this thought that Dangly Earring Woman was gently getting off in the Hot Tub right there in front of PP.

The thoughts that occur to one in the hot tub.

Later DEW was in the hair dryer section applying her makeup and PP had smiled at her, asking her if she’d been in the pool with all the anarchy. DEW had given her a gentle and firm smile,” No, I just go in the pool once in awhile to cool off.”
“Oh, what do you do?”
“I do half hour on the bikes, half hour on the tread mill, then 45 minutes doing all the light weights.”
“Yeah, I do a lot.”
“I’d say so.” PP had gushed. “I was thinking how I need to try to do the weights more, but it’s such a time issue.”
“You really should. At your age, and with your frame. You’re so petite. I wish I had your body. Your body is my Fantasy.”
PP had to grin, wondering if DEW had been fantasizing about her body when she was doing the Benji Bounces in the hot tub.
She’d giggled, slightly embarrassed now. But also flattered. “Must be all the swimming I do.”
“My name’s Lydia. If you’re ever up there doing the weights and need someone to show you, just ask. Though I’m no expert.”
“Cool. Thanks. I will.”
DEW had nodded mysteriously, applying eyeliner to her dark brows. PP eyed her for a moment. She was definitely attractive in that dark, buxom Italian sort of way, with her long black hair, pale soft skin and piercing eyes.
“Well, you’re lucky you didn’t try to swim tonight,” PP had continued, trying to not to stare at the make-up application. “It was total Pandemonium in there. I don’t know what was up.”
“It’s the Time Change,” DEW had asserted. “It takes awhile to get used to.”
”Ah, yes, could be. I hadn’t thought of that. It certainly is very disorienting.” PP liked this analysis, even though it didn’t really make any sense. Why the hell would the Time Change have anything to do with all the swimmers converging on the lap lanes simultaneously?

But blaming the Time Change for all ills worked for PP. At least for week or so.
Then she’d hafta find something else to blame.
Other than herself, of course.


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