“How was your swim?”

Modest Vietnamese Woman tilts her pretty head, thinking. “It was so peaceful. ….I had my own lane. ……The water was warm.” She considers for a moment, “There was no one else in the pool.”

PP laughs.

Of course, it’s all Fantasy. There was NO One in the pool tonight. The pool was closed due to “Mechanical Failure.”

PP had arrived for her usual Wed eve Oakland Y “Girls Night” with DL. There had been a sign on the door—-big red letters explaining the pool closure. But all PP saw was Pool Closure.

She couldn't believe it. 2 Pool Closures in 3 days! Last Sunday at Hilltopia had been Mayhem Hell. First Hector's Swim Party jamming screaming kids into the pool with so many writhing little bodies that two lap lanes had been taken away. Then the 'Emergency' where everyone had been forced out of the pool with rude whistling and no explanation, "What's going on?" PP had asked. "Why do we hafta get outta the pool?" She'd only been swimming about 25 minutes; less than half of her swim completed. Swimus Interruptus was hella cranky!

"It's a Personal Space Issue" the lifeguard had said, waving his arms frantically to clear the pool of Hector's revelers.
"What does that mean?" PP had asked.

PP hadn't found out till later. Someone had almost passed out in the pool. She'd seen a shaky blobby man in the corner being supported by his blobby wife when she was getting out and had wondered if he was the culprit for her Swimus Interruptus.

And yes, it turned out that his blood sugar had been too low.

Shit. Eat a goddamn cookie before coming to the pool, why don'tcha? PP had thought. Don't kick us out before she's done with her swim for chrissakes!

And so now, tossing her fins on the counter, she couldn't believe that another pool closure was a part of her week.

Waiting for the busy clerk to finish ordering her Chinese Takeout, PP sighed loudly, shaking her head. “Excuse me, but I see the pool is closed and I didn’t get any notification about it. Aren’t you guys supposed to send out emails letting us know about this?”

Chinese Take Out Clerk was confused, casted about for help. Another clerk offered that it had just happened last night. PP glanced at the clock—7:35 pm. “So you had all day to email us though, right?”

The two clerks shrugged, glanced round nervously for more reinforcements. DL stood next to PP, shifting back and forth from one foot to the other, rolling her eyes.
To the rescue, Head Clerk, H, the Only Clerk Who Knows What's Going On, scurried up, “Do we have your email?”
“Yes,” PP tried not to scream.
“Is it Swimpurr at Yahoo?”
PP sighed, Damn. “No, actually that’s an old one. It’s on Gmail now, but Gmail imports all the yahoo email and I didn’t get anything today.”
“Are you sure?”
PP had to back down. Shit.

But somehow she knows they’re lying. The next day she did find out that, yes, in fact, no one had sent an email notification of the pool closure. She had been right, but at the time, she didn't know it for certain. No hard evidence. Only intuition. Which counts for nothing with the YMCA....

What can she do at the moment except follow H into the inner staff sanctum and type in her new Gmail account for future notifications.
Part of her is a bit excited about this back of the counter experience. But most of her is pissed off that she can’t swim.

She finished filling out the form, “Is that working for you?” H called out.
“Yup, done.” PP rose and followed DL down to the locker-room.

And so, when Modest Vietnamese Woman muses about her ‘swim’—PP has to grin. Maybe Pool Closures are good for something. Fantasy. Imagination. Community.

Of which there had been much in U.

“They’re gonna cancel All My Children. Oprah’s gone now. Gonna replace her with another hour of news. I ask you, how many ways can you hear about Arnie dickin around?" Sandy hurrmphs as she moseys out of the sauna.

DL and PP crack up.
How many ways indeed!

The problem with Arnie is that he got caught in his 'Fantasy'--Reality sucks, doesn't it Arnie?

Esp for Maria.

But Maria would survive. She'd go on Oprah. Divorce Arnie. Take a fabulous vacation. Swim in the sea where no emergencies would happen.

PP wants Maria's Fantasy, now.

But not before she has her cookie. That's the most important part of the fantasy.....Well, except for the beautiful, empty warm watered pool.


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