“Can I swim in That Lane?” PP nods toward the empty (and previously forbidden to lap swimmers—see last blog entry) water walkers lane, grinning expectantly. Stringy Grey Haired Spaz Man had just jumped into her lane and she was drowning.
Tatiana smiles, shakes her head emphatically. “Oh, no, no, NO,” she repeats three times. “I can’t let you do that.”
PP knows she knows that PP knows that no lap swimmers are allowed in the Water Walkers Lane. But PP was gonna give it a go anyway.
“But I got to last week!” PP cries, as SGHSM turns at the wall and sprays her mightily.
Tatiana continues to shake her head, “Maybe if you guys were circle swimming, I’d be okay with it, but nah, not now.”
PP shrugs. So, the rule was only in place unless there was circle swimming? This was the point of subversion? PP decides not to pursue it though. She actually likes T. She’s cute and smart and pays attention. Something that most of the lifeguards here at the Oakland YMCA don’t do.
Except for the Cute and Smarter New Lifeguard that let PP swim in the WWL last week. He’s watching the whole scene unfold with Tatiana; PP feels this. Should she call him into the fray?
Nah, it’s not worth it. If Tatiana wants to stick to the ‘rules’ then so be it. It all makes for a funny story anyway.
So resigned, PP tries to swim. But now Splasher Flipper Man gets in on her other side and all of a sudden she’s experiencing every swimmer’s nightmare—Splash Sandwich. Damn! And with that Empty Lane beckoning her.
Yet PP presses on. What can she do? Though it seems so very very very stupid stupid stupid. There’s an empty lane. No water walkers in sight. (And if one did happen into the lane, of course PP would move).
But yet, tonight, unlike last week, PP can’t swim there because of the Tatiana and the “Rules.”
Turning at the wall, PP catches out of the corner of her eye, Tatiana now dressed in street clothes. Black trousers, black shirt—she’s off!
And as soon as she’s gone…..
Cute and Smarter Lifeguard heads over to PP’s lane, catches her at the wall, squats down and grins, “You can swim over there now.”
“Really?” PP is beyond delight. Not only does she get to swim in the Water Walking Lane, but she’s part of a subversive lifeguard/swimmer cohort.
“But she said I couldn’t. That it’d be breaking the rules.”
He shakes his head, grins broadly. “Yeah.”
“Do you know why it’s a rule anyway?”
“Nah,” he pauses, considering. “To me it’s just an empty lane. You’d hafta ask my boss.”
“And now she’s gone!” PP grins.
“Yeah,” he laughs, rising. “Besides,” he nods toward SGHM, “he’s a little erratic.”
A little erratic? Well that’s one way of putting it! Not only is this lifeguard an Outlaw, ignoring the rules by undermining his boss’s authority first chance he gets, but he also has a good vocabulary!
Delighted with it all, PP dives into the forbidden lane. Swims happily in the smooth water, relishing her freedom from the Splash Sandwich even though in the back of her mind she’s worried. What if Tatiana comes back and finds her breaking the rules? Would she turn in Outlaw Lifeguard? Blame him for her blatant disregard for Tatiana's authority and the Y's 'rules'?
Of course not.
PP would just shrug. Tell Tatiana that it was all her idea. That she was just testing the waters.
Oh, the thrill of it all.
Breaking the rules at the Y never felt so invigorating. PP hasn't done this in awhile. Such wildness! Such abandon! Such daring!
But hey, all you out there who know Tatiana. You better not tell or else...
PP is gonna sick the Outlaw Lifeguard on you!