Admiration Situation: II
“Oh! I am so sorry.... I did not mean to any harm! Please forgive me!” Gushing Woman’s near sobs take P by surprise. What the hell was she so strung out about? And what the hell did it have to do with P? Deciding to just let it play out, P climbs up to the top corner of Hilltopia, cold and exhausted from her swim. She just wants to rest. She doesn’t have the energy for a Sob Fest.
But there is the Story Factor.....
Gushing Woman sniffles loudly, wipes her eyes, stares at P with longing. “I have no idea that what she said it is true. But now I know and can you ever forgive me?”
Okay, P thinks, guess she’ll have to bite, “Forgive you for what?”
“Oh the lifeguard, she say that me and my son we can not swims in the lane next to you. The lifeguard she say that we must swim in the other side of the pool.” She sniffles again, dramatically.
P had noticed GW and her kid in the lap lanes during her swim, but hadn’t really paid much attention since it had been a quiet night. They were mostly hanging out at the wall, laughing and playing. Granted they weren’t swimming laps, but P knows that this activity is rarely enforced in the lap swimming only designated lanes. So she was mystified why GW was apologizing to her. She hadn’t complained (like she usually did when the lap lanes were being utilized by non lap swimmers.)
Maybe the lifeguard had said that P had complained? But this didn’t make sense, or did it? Who knows? The main issue at the moment was how to calm GW down so that P could relax for a few moments and get warm without having to listen to her pitiful sniffling.
So she lied. Pretending that she had complained. That she did care.
“Oh, that’s okay,” P soothes. “It was a quiet night and there weren’t a lot of lap swimmers, so I don’t think it’s a big deal, you know?”
GW forced a teary smile, “You forgive me?”
“Sure, of course,” P sighs to herself, still wondering why it was her job to forgive her. “Don’t worry about it.”
“Oh, thank you thank you thank you!” GW gushed, relief palpable in the dark hot room. “I admire you so much! I told this man I saw he was swimming here the other day how much I admire you he had been swimming since 1967 and he looked like he was in his 50’s though he must be in his 60 or maybe even 70 and then I told him about you and how you got me to swim again I have not gone swimming for such a long time but now because of you I try to swim 2 time a week.”
“Really?” P is still perplexed about her role as Inspiration Swimmer. But maybe this happens all the time and she doesn’t hear about it?
Nice to think so, but hardly likely. What’s more likely is that GW is just insane and has honed in on P as a target for her Swimming Insanity Inspiration Situation.
Just her luck.
“I used to swim when I was younger,” GW continues, all evidence of her earlier tears completely vanished.
“That’s great,” P comments. And really it is but she was so tired and just wanted to rest without any inane conversation for once.
“Yes. I swim on the swim team and then I stop. I had my kid and then I did not have the time but now with you I swim again!” She beamed.
P had noticed, that contrary to her expectations, GW really could swim. Her bikini halter-top suit notwithstanding, GW had a lovely strong freestyle and a graceful underwater breaststroke.
“Glad to hear it,” P encourages, in spite of her instinct to avoid any sort of Swimmer Mentorship Role.
“HENRY!!! HENRY!!!” GW suddenly hollers, rising quickly from her corner and rushing out the door. “What you doing in here!? I told you to stay in the pool until I come to get you!”
P watches as Henry races by the sauna, giggling loudly, his wet white feet slapping dangerously on the locker room tiles.
“Is that your kid?” Another woman yells.
“Yes,” GW answers, racing after Henry.
“You better watch him. He’s gonna hurt himself running like that.”
“I know I know. Thank you I am sorry..... I know how he does. He not bothering you.”
P sighs. In fact Henry was a Big Bother. In the pool, not so much, but in the women’s locker room, his loud staring antics riled all the women.
P doesn’t want to get involved tonight for a number of reasons. She’s tired. She’s hungry. She’s feels a certain loyalty now to GW even though normally P would be the first to complain about a boy child this big in the women’s locker room.
So tonight, she just shrugs and heads for the showers as the sounds of GW’s futile mothering admonishments ring through the air.
“HENRY! I told you! Stop that. The lady she does not like that when you do that....”