I smile, encouraging? Not really, I’m freezing and tired, but had noted her when I’d gotten out of the shower. So cute in her red and blue striped bikini with the string ties. I hadn’t seen string ties since 9th grade.
“The….” She searches for the correct vocabulary. Where is she from? Not Richmond. Maybe China? Vietnam? Korea?
“Flip flops!” She grins, proud. “Do you know? Are they okay to wear to pool….?” She searches again for the vocabulary. Pool deck wasn’t rolling off her tongue. I’m reminded of the time we stayed in Venice. We wanted to go to the local public pool. The landlord had been very insistent on our bringing pool shoes to wear on the deck. In Venice no bare feet allowed on deck.
Today, though, I honestly had no idea. It’d been a long journey to get to the Richmond Plunge. The pandemonium at Hilltop Y with the Special Olympics mayhem taking over the normally idyllic Sunday morning pool time. My complaint taken down by Jasmeeen. “Can I lodge a formal complaint?” about how the Special Olympics workout from 10:45- 1:45 hadn’t been on the schedule.
Can’t they figure something else out?
In any case, the Richmond Plunge had been glorious. A lane to myself. The tall Natatorium ceiling with its pipes and mushroom lights; the birds a plenty mural of the lake at point Richmond with a swimmer ready to take the plunge; the little girls in pink polka dots whispering behind their lime green goggles. (Yes you can whisper behind goggles if you’re 7 at the Richmond Plunge with your best friend)
And now, Bikini Flip Flop Girl. She was utterly charming. I had no clue if it was okay to wear flip flops out on the deck, but I couldn’t imagine the slacker lifeguards giving a shit about her footwear, and so I smiled, and lied: “Oh, I’m sure it’s OK!”
She beams, nods quickly, glances down at her feet and then turns and skips out. Her strait dark ponytail swinging down her slender back.
And I think. What the hell was I so upset about this morning? Here I am. At the Richmond Plunge. Lying to charming young bikini girls about footwear regulations.
Life is good. Isn’t it?
But I still wonder if I’ll hear anything back about my formal complaint I lodged.
Though at this moment, I don’t really care. Because life at the Natatorium just can’t be beat.
Though they could use a couple of hairdryers. And a sauna. And…..