Sorry for the Inconvenience....


Trudging up the stairs to the Oakland Y, PP spies the signage on the door. Shit. It can’t be. She can’t even read it. How does she know it’s about an ‘emergency pool closure’?

Yet, she does. It’s a swimmer’s intuition. A pessimist's realism.

And sure enough. The sign says:

Pool closed for emergency repairs.
Blah blah blah….
Sorry for the inconvenience.

Sorry for the inconvenience?

PP hates hates hates this! Like havin' the pool closed unexpectedly (again!) is an inconvenience?

No it’s life threatening! Don’t they know that without the scheduled swim on Wed., she’ll go absolutely stark raving mad?

Hell, if she’d known the pool was gonna be closed (which of course she didn’t, but more on that later) she woulda braved the Hilltopia Family Noodle Braining Mayhem on Tuesday. Now, she wouldn’t be able to swim till Friday! That’s 1, 2, 3, 4!!! days without swimming!


“What happened to the pool?” PP asks the 13 year old clerks at the front counter.
“It’s the same thing,” one answers. “The pump needs to be replaced. But this time they’re gonna fix it.”
“Really?” PP nods, fighting back tears. Damn damn damn. She needs a swim!
“Yes. It’ll be fixed tomorrow.”
“That doesn’t help me tonight.”
They nod, sympathetic, and really PP can tell they are. One of them asks if she brought any other clothes to work out in. Yeah, she had, but she just wanted to be in the water. He nods, but does he get it?
PP thinks not.

DL runs into PP in the downstairs lobby on her way up to the ballroom (stretching area). PP's ready to cry and of course, DL gets it completely (unlike the clerks upstairs & even though she’s not a swimmer! No wonder they’ve been friends for 30 years!)

“I just wonder why it keeps happening here,” DL says. “It wouldn’t happen in Palo Alto, for instance.”
“Yeah, it never happens at Hilltop or Berkeley,” PP agrees, thinking.
“It’s something about Oakland and the resources. Something about this Urban Y that isn’t allocated the resources that the other Y’s are because it's Oakland.”
“Yeah….maybe you’re right,” PP agrees. “I hadn’t thought of that.”
“We should write the BIG Boss and complain,” DL suggests.
“The pool manager?”
”NO, the BIG Boss of the YMCA in the Bay Area.”

“Oh….” PP’s voice trails off. She doesn’t have the energy for this right now. She’s gonna stand here in the lobby and start crying pretty soon.

“I think I have to just go home,” PP murmurs, leaning against the wall as sweat- clothed patrons pass by laughing, jostling. They're happy. They don't need a pool.
“Sure, whatever you need to do,” DL nods.

But PP decides not to go home. All she'd do there is cry, watch bad t.v.and eat microwaved food. How pathetic would that be? No. She's stronger than the Emergency Pool Closure. She'll show 'em!

And she does. Works out on the torture machines with DL, watches So You Think You Can Dance, fights her own nausea after DL points out a woman barfing.
"Oh no, someone got sick...."
"She barfed?"
DL just nods, stops her treadmill workout, trying not to watch the Barf Woman clean up her mess. But can't help it.
"I think it was a Sports Drink. Lime Green."

PP so wishes she were in the pool. She's never in all the years she's been swimming seen anyone barf in the pool. Not to say that it doesn't happen, but then they'd close the pool and well you all know what happens next.

Later, talking with Sandy while dressing at the lockers, PP finds out a valuable piece of info about the Y Pool Closures:

“You can sign up with your email to get updates about the pool closing. They have a list,” Sandy tells PP.

WHAT? Why the hell hasn’t anyone ever told her this before? Like the two clerks just now couldn’t have mentioned this? Or a note on the “CLOSURE” sign couldn't include this useful tip for future unforeseen closures.

The update list is a Secret?

Shit, what’s the point of that?

PP has been swimming at the Oakland Y for over 3 years. She’s broken down in tears at the front desk over pool closure at least a half a dozen times. Why the hell didn’t anyone ever think to mention the ‘Update List’?

Sandy shakes her head when PP mentions how she’s never known about this. That she'll sign up.

“Yeah, well, we’ll see if they let you know in time,” she shrugs.
“Good point,” PP nods, but it’s worth a try.
“Sure, it’s worth a try.” Sandy agrees, then tells a story of how when she first came to the mainland from Hawaii and had to join a Swimming Club her relatives back in Hawaii couldn’t believe that she was “PAYING” to go swimming.

PP gets this, of course.

“Where was the club?” PP asks.
Sandy smiles, then looks away. Shy? Abashed? “Piedmont. The Piedmont Swim Club.”

PP nods, wonders how much the Piedmont Swim Club charges per month?

Frankly, whatever it is, it’d definitely be worth it.

Cuz PP bets that the Piedmont Swim Club doesn’t close their pool unexpectedly. Or if it does, they call their regular swimmers ahead of time so they don’t make an unnecessary trip to partake of a much needed swim.


PP signs up for the email 'updates' in the Aquatics category. She's dubious that it will work, but maybe she needs to push down that negativity.

Only time will tell.

The next time the pool is closed, will she get an update?

Her Pessimist's Realism says, 'NO'.
And her Swimmer's Intuition says...?

She'll have to get back to you on that!


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