Hard Headed, Soft Bottomed
“Oohh, that’s hot!” Dyed Blond Ringlet Woman dips her big toe into the hot tub. PP laughs, nods, agreeing. She’s still sitting on the edge of the tub, unusual for her. Rarely does she not just plunge into the soothing heated water to counter the pool’s cool temp.
Yet this evening, the pool had been perfect. Warm and empty. PP had had the end lane where the stupid families usually frolic. This lane is the warmest since it has tiny heaters lining the wall.
She swims as close as she can to these without running into the wall.
So, when DBRW cries out over the hot tub temp, PP agrees. It is hot and maybe it seems this way since the pool hadn’t been too cold.
Glancing at the temp, DBRW grins, then shakes her curls, “106! No wonder!”
“That is toasty,” PP slips in now, the heat delicious.
“It’s empty. That’s why the temperature is so hot. The more people that are in the tub, the more the temperature goes down.”
PP’s puzzled by this. Wouldn’t it be just the opposite? The more people in the tub, the more they heat it up?
“How’s that?” she asks, curious.
“Our body temperature, it’s 98 point something, and so when lots of people get in their body temperatures bring the total temperature down.”
She glances over at PP. “I don’t think you and me are gonna bring the temperature down just the two of us.” She chuckles as she inches into the water, her round brown belly half way covered by the swirling bubbles.
“I never thought of it that way,” PP nods. “I guess that does make sense.”
But does it? PP is skeptical yet decides not to voice this. It’s too good of a story the way it is.
DL arrives, perches on the edge of the tub, grinning at the already started Aquatopia Dialogue. When DBRW explains her water temp theory to DL, DL just nods. It makes sense to her. But she’s a poet. Everything makes some kind of sense in a metaphorical way, right?
“My daughter, she is good at math!" DBRW starts the topic out of nowhere. Apropos of much of the dialogue at the Oakland Y. "Don’t let no one tell you that girls ain’t good at math. They are. And I tell her, you use your algebra. You go to the store, you see a can of peas for 30% off, and you figure it out using your algebra.”
PP’s not sure that algebra is the exact math used; but then again, math isn’t her forte.
Because she’s a girl?
No, because it’s stupid.
“And when I tell my daughter this, she just stands there, hands on hip and refuses to listen to me. She thinks she knows it all. And the kids. They are smarter than they used to be. I look around and see that how are all these kids being born smarter and smarter?”
“It’s the math?” PP ventures.
She laughs, “Exactly!” Not missing a beat. “And my daughter, because she is so smart and she knows it all, when I tell her the opposite she just shakes her head. Tells me, No, it ain’t so. She’s so Hard Headed that girl is.”
She laughs. They all do.
“And I know that she get it from me. Why when I was growing up, everyone would say, “'Nadine,' that’s me 'you are so hard headed!' But I’m not so hard headed anymore. No. But I am soft bottomed!” She laughs, they all do.
“And I don’t have to do a thing. It just gets softer and softer and softer!”
She grins, shakes her head, sighs deeply, thinking of the softness.
DL and PP crack up, their soft bottoms growing too.