Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Utopian Community






“Did you ladies hear what happened to Suzi?” Sandy sits up slowly. She’s been in Utopia for over an hour. From before when PP went to the pool. PP remembers asking her once how she doesn’t pass out from saunaing so much.

Sandy had grinned. Proud of her Sauna Stamina. But PP can’t remember her answer right now. But she digresses.....

DL shakes her head ‘no’ to the current Suzi Query. Later asks PP who the hell “Suzi” is. The Grape Giving Lady with the Liver Transplant and the Jesus Thong Underwear, PP had replied.

But at the moment of Sandy’s story, DL was in the dark about Suzi’s identity. Not that it really matters.

Well actually it does.

“What happened?” PP prompts, ready for the story even though she’s exhausted from another cold harrowing swim at the always crowded Oakland Y Pool. What the hell was up with that anyway? Why weren’t people home watching cable TV.? Eating dinner? Walking the dog? It was just weird how crowded the pool was at 9 o'clock at night! But again, she digresses....

“Evidently, she was called in to have a special conference with Dora. You know Dora, don’t you?” Sandy asks.
“Just vaguely,” PP replies. “She showed me around when I first joined."

“Yeah, well, she can be a bit of a bitch. As you’ll see.”
DL nods, rapt as always with Utopia Story Time.
“Did she do something Bitchy to Suzi?” PP asks.
“You might call it that. Evidently, Suzi was told to make an appointment with Dora or she wouldn’t be able to come back to the Y.”
“You mean she’d be banished from the YMCA? What did she do?”
“You’ll like this story. One night, she spilled something on herself. You know how she’s always carrying around all this food and drink.’
”Yeah, she has that frozen cranberry concoction she’s always sucking on,” PP offers.

“Exactly. So that’s probably what she spilled on herself. And so she had to try to get it all off before she left. Why I’m not really sure. It was after 10 at night after all.”
“What did Dora say exactly?”
“She told her that in the future she would have to get out of the Y by 10 o’clock on the dot or she wasn’t going to be allowed in again.”
“You’re kidding!” DL exclaims.
“Yeah, I had the same reaction. I mean. What was the big deal? Suzi has issues. She’s got some things that she needs to take care of. She’s always a little overwhelmed.”

PP thinks how she’s just plain Crazy but in a Sweet Way. And who wouldn’t be? What with a huge hole in your side from dialysis and a Jesus Tattoo on your ass, anyone would be Crazy.






“How late was she?” PP asks.
“20 minutes.”
“Oh,” PP shakes her head. It was pretty late. Once in a while she and DL are 5 minutes late and this is nerve-wracking enough with the loud speakers and the towel Nazi and the frantic nakedness.

20 minutes was late. But hell, to be exiled from the Y? Wasn’t that a bit extreme? Didn’t they need their members?

“I mean,” Sandy continues, “isn’t this place all about community and relationships and values and blah blah blah and then Dora goes and slaps Suzi with this ultimatum. Well. I just think it’s not right. Dora coulda just said that her employees need to get out by 10 that they’re not paid for any time after 10 that they have to stay.. But no. She throws her weight around. And at Suzi no less!”

PP shakes her head. Wonders what Suzi’s reaction had been. The summons to Dora’s office. (Which is weird enough) and then the scolding from the Head Bitcho. Well. Such action by Dora certainly did seem counter to all that the Y stood for.

Though PP has always been dubious of these so called ‘values’ anyway.

Honesty. (Someone did steal her swim cap)

Responsibility. (Dirty Used towels were often left on the floor for someone else to clean up)







Sharing. (Just look at the pool for gross abuse of this value! Of course, PP was one of the main culprits. She hates sharing a lane!)

Community. (What the hell does this even mean? it’s one of those Oprah words that gets so bandied about that it means absolutely nothing.)






Besides, if there really were ‘community’ at the Y, then Suzi wouldn’t have been treated like this. She woulda been welcomed into a nice cozy Cranberry filled room with Jesus watchin her from above and lots of grapes overflowing from silver bowls surrounding a sparkling pool with cushy lounge chairs with cable TV’s attached.

Poor Suzi.

No way was there any community for her here at the YMCA.

Except for that of Utopia. Here is where the Real Community lies.

Just don’t tell Dora!

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