Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Dice Man





"What’s up with the dice?” PP stops at the wall, grinning at the swimmer sharing her lane.

He's stopped at the end of the lane, contemplating one green dice (is di the singular?). The dice sits on the edge of the pool, surrounded by kickboards, pull buoys, flip-flops, puddles of water.

“I use it to count my laps,” Dice Man looks at her like she’s crazy. Doesn’t everyone use dice to count their laps?





PP, on the other hand, is mystified never having been much of one for games. Wasn’t Yahtzee the one with the dice? But she can’t remember other than the game was around at her Grandma Birdie and Aunt Tea’s place. The Dodger game blaring on the TV always taking precedence though. She can still hear those two old ladies, "Those goddamn Dodgers! What the hell was that?"




“How does that work?” she asks Dice Man.
He slowly turns toward her, serious. “Each side has numbers on it right?”
“Uh, right….”
“First there's the number 1 then turn it over, for the number 2, then turn it over again for 3, etc.”
“Yeah, so how does that work with counting laps?”

He shakes his head. She’s so slow! “I roll the twice and then half it again for 15 laps.”

PP nods slowly, trying to do the math, never her strong suit. How does 1+2+3+4+5+6 times 2 and then half again equal 15? Doesn’t it add up to a lot more than 15?





“The problem is,” he continues as she gives up trying to understand, “that I start bullshitting with people and then lose track.”

Aha! PP thinks. He’s just bullshitting her. The dice isn’t for counting laps at all. It’s for starting conversations with unknowing swimmers who should be doing laps instead of talking about them.

“The other problem is that the kids will find it and swipe it and then I’m lost.”

“Stupid kids,” she mutters.




“You’re a very nice person to share a lane with, you know?” Dice Man beams over at her as he leans on the pool’s edge and turns the dice over.

“You’re nice to share a lane with too,” she answers, not knowing how else to respond.

Yet he was she thinks, as she gets out of the pool and heads for the showers. After all, what better lane sharer could she have than one who provides such a thought provoking story for the blog?

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poetowen said...

Uh-oh. Dice man sounds like on of my Telegraph Avenue "friends".

And wasn't that the title of a novel?


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