Wednesday, May 09, 2012



PP sighs to herself. Sitting on the toilet, she can’t help but listen to Scraping Walker Woman’s Rant.

Though now since she’s in a wheelchair, PP guesses she’s Swearing Wheelchair Woman.

Damn. PP is in no mood to deal with her. She’s tired and hungry and wants to get home after a surprisingly nice swim. (“It was so nice today, wasn’t it?” a fellow swimmer had commented afterwards. “Yes, so peaceful. No screaming kids,” PP had answered.)

Now there was a Screaming Wheelchair Woman.

Flushing the toilet, PP decides that she better go see what was the matter. She’d been hoping someone else would wander into the locker room, but nope. Where the hell was anyone when you needed her?

PP follows the sound of the rant, around the corner to the wheelchair accessible stall.
There she is, wedged in between the toilet and the door. Was she stuck? Had she hurt herself?

“Are you okay?” PP asks.
SWW stares up at her, surprised. “Of course, I’m okay. Why wouldn’t I be?”
Shit, PP swears to herself. Does swearing up a storm at the top of your lungs in a public place constitute okayness?

Evidently in SWW’s universe.

Sighing, PP tries to keep her tone calm and sympathetic. It’s hard.

“Well, I could hear you swearing from the other stalls. What’s wrong?”
“Oh, that!” SWW laughs softly, embarrassed? No, just amused. “I was just mad at her is all. I know she saw me and I said ‘Hello’ to her and she didn’t even answer me. I know she saw me. I know she did….”

Her voice trails off. She shakes her head, her naked back arched over in a permanent hunch.

“Oh,” PP smiles. Shit, is that all? She doesn’t say this. “Well, maybe she was having a bad day,” she offers.

“Oh, yeah, you’re probably right,” SWW laughs, wheeling her way out of the stall now. “She was having a bad day. But I know she saw me. I said ‘Hello’ and she just ignored me. Just walked right past me. Why did she do that?”

Her bright blue eyes pierce into PP’s demanding an explanation for another’s rudeness. It occurs to PP that this other woman may not have been in the mood to deal with SWW’s insanity today. Or maybe, as is often said and studies have been done, people with disabilities are seen as ‘invisible’—literally so. This could be it too.

But more likely, the woman was just busy, or preoccupied, or having a bad day and just didn’t respond.

And again, this is what PP proposes and then adds, “I know it’s hard when someone’s rude to you, but don’t let her spoil your day. You’re at the Y and going to the Pool and the pool is quite lovely today….”

“Oh, is it? It was nice yesterday!” SWW exclaims, distracted now.

Cuz this is what the pool can do as we all know. It can distract. It can soothe.
And today, PP is particularly glad for the Pool’s power. She understood why SWW was angry. It musta been a pretty rude encounter for her to get so upset. After all, she was so friendly and sweet to everyone, saying Hello and asking after them.

Unless she was yelling at them to stop asking her if she was okay. Which is exactly what PP had done today.

And she hadn’t been. Not really.
But now, now she was. Or seemed to be.

And this of course was all thanks to the Pool.

SWW wheels into the shower and grunts as she turns on the water, begins spraying her hunchback to ready for pool entry.

"Have a nice pool time," PP calls over to her as she heads back to her locker.
"Oh, I will. Thank you. You have a very nice figure, you know? I used to have a nice one but since the accident I....."

Thursday, May 03, 2012

Lady Bits

“Is this Somebody’s?” PP points to a disgusting, flesh colored Brassiere (and yes it’s a brassiere and not a bra) lying cup up on the top bench of Utopia.

The sauna’s crowded tonight. Two women who were sitting next to the Brassiere have moved over to make room for PP, but then there’s the issue of what to do with the disgusting piece of lingerie.

They all laugh, shaking their heads.

“I mean,” PP joins in, “I know it’s Somebody’s, but is it anybody’s here?”
“Nope,” Turquoise Bead Necklace Woman shakes her head, pulling her Y issued too small white towel tighter round her own ample bosom.

And so, PP picks up The Ownerless Brassiere. Gingerly. It’s so disgusting. She doesn’t really want to touch it. Who the hell would just leave their bra lying around the sauna?

Tosses it on the next bench down below her and takes its place.

Turquoise Bead and Blond Accent Woman resume their conversation about how computers suck: “I’m just afraid if I move my laptop that I’ll lose all my information on in.” “Ummm….Yes, ma’am I hear you…..”

PP glances over at DL who’s on the opposite side of the tiny cramped heat room, trying to relax.
But there’s something amiss.

It’s the Brassiere. It’s coloring the atmosphere of Utopia in a strange unsanitary lingerie way.
The door to Utopia slams open.

Aquatopia Woman enters. PP and DL had just had a Bonding Moment over the travesty of a BART agent being fired for giving away unused tickets to a poor high school student (“He was 66? That effect his pension I would imagine? They say they doing the right thing by firing him, but then if the same thing happened to them, they’d be Crying to Mama all the way home….”)

She surveys the spot where PP is now ensconced. Stares into PP, sneers, and then looks down down at the brassier, lying ickily on the lower bench. Picks it up and glares at PP.

“I wish you hadn’t put that there. It’s all wet.”

For a split second, PP considers what to say:

“Well, I wish you hadn’t left it up here taking up the space that someone could sit in.”
“I wish I hadn’t had to touch your goddamn disgusting bra.”
“I wish you had a brain in your head that would tell you that it’s not appropriate to leave your goddamn bra alone in the sauna….”

But PP decides against all of the above; she's not gonna win this Bra War. Mutters a kinda surprised but also kinda surly, “Sorry.” And then shrugs.

Brassier Wish Bitch harrumphs.

“Is that your underwear on the railing there?” Turquoise Bead Woman pipes in. Thankfully.

“No. They are not!” BWB flares. It is all so offensive. Imagine! She left her Brassiere here to dry and someone had the Audacity to move it so that she could sit down!

She stomps out.

All the women in Utopia start to laugh, the group giggle growing, till they’re shaking. Turquoise Bead Woman glances over at PP, rolls her eyes.

“I don’ know ‘bout you ‘all but my mama tol me don’t go leavin your Lady Bits around. Keep your Lady Bits with you at all times. Don’t no one wanna see your Lady Bits lying around….Even if they is 46 Double D’s!!!!”

They all laugh harder.

“Thanks!” PP gasps. She’s so relieved that it wasn’t just her being a presumptive bitch moving the brassiere.

Turquoise Beads nods, “Pleaaase! She was so outta line! Guess her mama didn’ make her awares of keeping her Lady Bits to herself.”

She pulls out one of those pumice stones and starts in on her calves, rubbing rubbing rubbing in vigorous circles. PP is thankful that she’s supportive around the Bra Moving, but the Exfoliation of the Lady Cells (DL’s contribution to the story) is disgusting!

Why can’t she keep her teeny tiny Lady Bits to herself?

The bits are flying!

The little white flecks of flesh float into the cramped claustrophobic darkness. PP can’t really see them, but she can hear them.

Glances over at DL, who’s still grinning, but also eying the Exfoliation Procedure.
It is so gross.

PP is starting to feel nauseous. Needs to get outta there pronto. DL rises, weaves out the door, with PP close behind her.

They’re still laughing though. Can’t even speak as they head to the showers, "Lady Bits Lady Bits Lady Bits" still ringing in their ears.

Mad as Hell!

“I’m mad as hell and I’m not gonna take it anymore!” Remember that line? Remember that movie? Network , right? What was everyone so ma...