Showing posts from September, 2010

3 Tales from the Bijou Pool at Tahoe

I: Priorities

PP’s so excited to be back in South Lake Tahoe and headed for the Bijou Pool. Swimming under the pines. Under the bright moon. In her own lane....

Until…..She gets there and whoa!

It’s crowded!

What the hell is up with that? When she’d swam here before it'd been calm and empty. Tonight there’re at least two swimmers in each lap lane and a full group of ‘water aerobics’ women taking up the rest of the pool.

Plus it was freezing!

Of course this is to be expected. After all, she was in the high sierras. But still……how could there be so many swimmers in such cold conditions?

The Tahoe swimmers must be a hardy bunch.

She dives in, sharing a lane with two other women, then one gets out and she’s just splitting a lane with Tattoo Bikini Jockette. She’s not such a great swimmer, kinda crooked and splashy, but hell she looks good and isn’t that at least some of what swimming is about?

Afterwards in the locker room, still freezing after her hot shower (and yes, thankfully it was h…

Channeling Esther

“That’s a BEAUTIFUL breaststroke you have there!”

PP continues her Esther Williams backstroke. She’s been practicing this elegant pretence since seeing Esther in Neptune’s Daughter. Esther swims gracefully, effortlessly around in coy circles as Ricardo Montabahn proclaims his undying love for her. Of course, Esther is safe in her little pool. Until Ricardo threatens to dive in after her……

Don’t worry, PP is not going to give away the entire scene!

But the reality is that PP’s backstroke is a pale imitation of Esther’s. It’s never been her forte. The only way she can do it at all, besides channeling Esther, is by donning her big fins to help keep her afloat.

“HELLO!!!!” Breaststroke Mistake Woman hollers more loudly at PP. “I said, ‘You have a BEAUTIFUL breaststroke!’”

PP stops at the wall and grins over at the pale eager moon face, eyes shining, nodding in rapt admiration.

PP wonders….should she tell BMW that she’s actually swimming the backstroke?

Nah, PP just nods, smiles sweetly, “Than…

Gram Swims Backwards!

“Soon, you’ll be swimming, Gram!” PP jokes as she stares down at her Gram, so small and frail in her pile of pillows after her harrowing 'episode' in the hospital last week. Now she’s home, resting at Uncle Joe’s as PP, DHBF and Ruthie (PP’s mom) visit.

Gram laughs, her bright blue eyes twinkling behind her wire-rimmed glasses. “Oh, no!” she giggles, “I don’t swim.”
“Yes you do,” PP asserts. “Don’t you remember?”
Gram shakes her head. The ‘episode’ of the last week has taken a toll on her. Not just her memory, though this is what seems to bother her the most,but her entire self, body and soul has shrunk dramatically.

Of course, this is to be expected. Still PP can’t help but be so very sad that her Gram may be …….

But tonight, Gram is in fine form. Why, PP’s jokes were welcome and definitely encouraged.

“I don’t remember ever swimming!” Gram exclaims.
“Well, you did,” PP grins. “Remember our pool in Hacienda Heights?”
Gram nods, “Yes, I do.”
“Well, I remember one afternoon, …


The Ugly Stick had bonked the hot tub at the Berkeley Y big time!

PP keeps swimming in the freezing B Y pool. She hates this pool. It’s always cold! But it was the only choice since the stupid Oakland Y closed their pool and in fact the entire facility for the week—so DL and PP had ventured into the land known as Bezerkely.

Now, trying to keep her muscles from completely freezing up on her, PP keeps an eye on the hot tub. Yet… she said, the Ugly Stick had been working overtime. At least a dozen Ugly Stick Men were lounging about in the tub, their scraggly beards wet and stringy, their paunchy stomachs hairy and wet, their….

Okay you get the idea.

PP doesn’t want to make you sick.
(What is it about Berkeley and the Ugly Stick? Later in Utopia, PP mentions this to DL and she just nods and pronounces: “It’s the Smug Lack of Hygiene Aspect.”)

Yup. PP doesn’t want to take a hot tub with this Aspect, yet no one seems to be leaving and she’s getting colder and colder and colder till, final…