Showing posts from January, 2016

Having a Problem

“It’s a good thing the pool is only 4 feet deep….. But come to think of it….. if you’re having a problem, you’re having a problem.”
Pudgy Peach Shaped woman clucks her tongue as she dries off her pudding limbs, pasty white and dimpled in the locker room glow.

We’d both just witnessed a distress situation with the lifeguard here at Hilltopia. One minute, she’s sitting in her big white chair, spaced out and staring. The next minute, there’s a call over the intercom “Attention. Attention! Blah blah blah and blah blah blah to the Pool Deck. To the Pool deck!”
I had heard the intercom’s blare, registering the Pool Deck location but nothing more. I was busy swimming my laps and had my earplugs, mask and cap on, deep into the rhythm of my workout when the call rang out.

But I wasn’t so engaged that I didn’t witness the three staff members appear on the deck, crowd around the lifeguard and then escort her into the little lifeguard staff room at the back of the pool area, closing the door s…


“Excuse me? Ma’am? Oh… Ma’am?”

I’m putting on my shoes, tired after a difficult swim. (I’d had to swim in the walking lane and then share a lane and then the water had been just a tad chilly and my mask had leaked and my shoulders and neck hurt slightly and I was tired and….)

Yet, now swim over, I’m warm and dressed, my back to the locker room where the Ma’am hailing voice is coming from. The voice is vaguely familiar, yet doesn’t know my name. Yet, of course, there are many women here at the Hilltop YMCA that I ‘know’ but not by name. And the 'Ma'am' address? I've given up caring about this anymore. It used to make me feel, 'old'. But now, since I am old, I don't care. Maybe age does have some advantages!

In any case, today I turn and behold AIDS Breast Milk Swimmer. I’d dubbed her this years ago when she told me in all seriousness that breast milk given to AIDS patients cures the disease.
Today, I doubt she remembers telling me this if I were to remind h…

The Last Swim of the Year, Dec 31st 2015

She zooms past me. A sleek spray of her fuchsia suit amidst the aqua. I’m a poky plodder in this Encinitas YMCA. Everyone is young, fast and beautiful. If there were a Swimmer GQ, they’d all be in its pages.

Miss Fuchsia would be the centerfold.

I was in awe.

She lapped me every few minutes. I stopped keeping track of how many times, but knew she was there, in my peripheral watery vision, zipping up and down the lane.

Then….wham! She’s comatose. Motionless. Floating and then sinking quickly. Her legs and arms are deathly still. What had happened to stop her flying through the water so suddenly? Heart attack? But she was so young and beautiful. This didn’t seem possible. Drugs? But would such a specimen partake of foreign substances in her beautiful body?
It hardly seemed likely.
The lifeguards spring into action. Whistles blowing. 3-4 of them diving into the water with the stretcher. Pulling her lifeless body out of the water, her porcelain limbs eerily still after their furious st…