Monday, September 22, 2008

The Therapy Pool Beckons





Day 3 at the Corydon Y and PP is breaking new ground. Today, it’s the Therapy Pool.

She’d spied the Therapy Pool on her first day here, but after her elusive Y search ordeal, she just didn’t have any more energy to explore. It looked weird and inviting. Another large room in a glass enclosure with a square ‘warm’ pool inside—at least PP assumed it was warm—full of shower cap women (though the women at the Corydon Y don’t wear shower caps, which as you’ll see, is an excellent thing!), and other various ‘therapy’ swimmers doing their walking and noodles and such. (Hello Lovely I and Ruthie—you both know and love the therapy pool rigors, yes?)

Then the 2nd visit here, after her lovely swim in her own exclusive lane next the Kentucky Navy Seals, PP was gonna go in the Therapy pool, but darn, it was ‘closed’. Maybe those Seals woulda been too distracted by all that therapy goin on in the next room? (PP realizes this makes no sense but she wants to develop this paragraph a little.)

So, today, Sunday, PP wasn’t even gonna go to the Y cuz it was Sunday and the Y in Oakland is a jammed packed chaotic zoo—thus she’s leery---but chances it anyway. She’s just spent from writing everyday for the last 2 weeks and decides she needs a break. What to do instead?

Go swimming of course!

She got her own lane again. Is it ever crowded? PP thinks perhaps not. The Midwest just has fewer people or fewer swimmers or hell no one can find the Corydon Y unless they need to take a shower.

And the Therapy Pool is OPEN! Yah! PP spies some noodle ladies floating in the shallow end—-and a woman walking who looks like Ardis Fucking Moonlight. Damn. She won’t go in if AFM is there! But fortunately, after another lovely swim, with only one teenager texting on his cell phone in the lane next to her between sporadic laps—what the hell message could be so vital that you'd stop your swim for?--PP enters

THE THERAPY POOL!!!




She knows there will be a story here. It’s just too weird feeling. She’s got a nose for this sort of thing as you all know.

Plus the woman she thought was AFM isn’t.

So, PP walks down the ramp, which she likes--it's so gentle and gradual and the water is warm and welcoming. The two noodle ladies continue chatting and one tired stringy guy is swimming languid therapy laps. The bored lifeguard (this is universally true of all Y lifeguards--they are all SO bored!) has country western music blaring on a boom box as she stares into space, not paying attention to anyone.

PP gets to the end of the ramp and floats over to the side where she finds a bench and sits down, takes off her cap and tries to keep her hair outta the water. (They’re very strict lately at the Oakland Y with the hair rule--if it's below the shoulders it must be in a cap or tied back, so she’s a little worried.) But no one cares in Indiana.

PP loves this! It’s so mellow here!

She floats over with her hair in the water toward the two conversing noodle ladies. When she gets near them, she smiles, and holds her hair up out of the water atop her neck. One of the noodle ladies, with stick-up straight Orange hair (Why do old ladies dye their hair such strange colors? it’s kinda cool, but kinda not), grins over at PP and starts in on Hair Talk.





“I do love me the long hair, but I just ken’t have it long no more! It is so thick!” She beams over at PP, who's still worried about her hair touching the water, murmurs, “Oh, mine is too long!”
“No! I love long hair. I just ken’t have mine so long. It’s too coarse. Here....c’mere....run your hand through the back of my head here....yeah, feel my hair....” She turns around and leans her large wet orange head toward PP.

PP pauses for only a moment. Is she for real? But it’s only a moment—here’s the story she knew she’d get in the Therapy Pool and it’s so much better than anything she could imagine!

So PP does, stick her fingers in the stiff short orange hair and it feels like thick wet straw. “You feel it?”
“Yeah.”
“Don’t it feel coarse?”
“Yeah...” PP is a bit embarrassed—isn't coarse kinda an insulting way to describe one’s hair? So she tries to answer a bit more tactfully, “It feels pretty thick, yeah.”
“Yeah, it does. I tell you it used to be long but it’d take me 30, 40 minutes to dry it with a hairdryer. I ain't kidding.”
“Wow,” PP nods, wondering if it was so orange when it was long and how marvelous that would be.
“My grandmammy, she used to not have hair on one side of her head and on the other side, it grew itself nice and thick, so she had this little trick of taking just a quarter inch on the side that wouldn’t grow and she’d cut a little snip of it off every month and lo and behold that hair would grow back nice and thick as can be!”
“Really?” PP stares at her not really understanding. “Wonder why that is?”
Touch My Hair Woman just shrugs, “Who knows? It was all about Signs and such in Those Days.”

PP nods. Okay, now she’s really confused. But it does seem to be a highly superstitious culture here in the Midwest, which is how she generally thinks of backwoods Christianity. Now she’s sure she’ll offend someone with this opinion, but the reliance on ‘signs’ and ‘snakes’ (Last night LaDonna told the story of how her Grandpappy was a Rattlesnake Preacher and when PP asked what this was, well....that’s another blog. Or not....maybe y’all know what one is?)




TMHW continues to talk about the Almanac and 'Balances' and PP is now completely lost but she goes along with it. She just wants her to keep talking. It’s so delicious.





But then Therapy Pool Lifeguard rises and saunters over to the boom box and switches off the country western and then saunters over to the glass door and turns the OPEN sign to CLOSED and so PP excuses herself and heads back up the ramp to gather up her cap and fins.

“Bye, now!” TMHW calls out, giving PP a friendly wave as her friend who’s said nothing during the entire exchange tosses her noodle on deck.

The Therapy Pool. What a wonderful place, PP grins as she heads for the showers, her long hair dripping down her back.

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