Tuesday, April 19, 2016
I’m tired. At the end of my swim here at Hilltopia. A long day and now a long swim and I’m ready to get out soon. But can’t ignore these two. They demand my attention.
They have the same reddish hair, arranged in the same half ponytail style. They both wear the same maroon tank suit, suntanned shoulders bouncing over the white water they create.
It takes a few laps for me to realize it: Twins! Swimming twins! Cool. I love it that they both swim, they both splash, they both laugh uproariously . Over what? There doesn’t seem to be anything going on. Except for their own show .
And maybe this is what it’s like for twins. Who needs the rest of the world when you’ve got yourself to hang out with, swim with, play with, eat with…..
I remember when my sister and I were ‘twins’ at the Fiesta Inn pool in Cabo Del San Jose. We had the same suit on. A turquoisey tropical number. We had the same haircut and tan. I am a couple of years older, but hell at our age, who can tell? So when someone at the hotel pool asked if we were twins, we just nodded and said, ‘Yes, we’re twins.” And for the rest of the entire trip, that’s what we were. Twins. A completely different identity from being a non twin. An individual.
It was cool.
And so tonight, when I see these twins, I remember when my sister and I posed as such. And how fun it was. We fooled everyone. And were delighted, in prime twin fashion, with our ruse.
Later, in the locker room, the Twins are in my spot. Of course. I joke, tell them that my locker is right behind them. The crack up. Move out of my way. “This always happens,” I say. “We all end up in the same spot. “
“We just take up a lot of room “ they laugh, unembarrassed at their twin space needs.
"You are Twins?"
"Yup,” they both exclaim.
"That is SO sweet."
"Sometimes." The crack up. This is an old joke. Or a new one. It doesn’t matter. Twins get their jokes without having to check in.
And so we all laugh as I continue to move my stuff out of their way over to the next aisle. Getting dressed, I hear them laugh. Still boisterous after their swim. Reveling in their twindom.
And I think, hell, I wish I had my twin here tonight. To share a laugh. To take over a lane. To love and cherish.
But twins are special. And I do know this. Well…..almost…..
Friday, April 08, 2016
“One of these ladies will know the name of that plant!”
Regal in her rhinestone studded turban, she commands out into Utopia. DL and I settle on the bottom shelf, squeezing in below the two beauteous Asian Women swimmers. Are they a couple? Sisters? Friends? Hard to tell. But there’s a woman duo bond between them. They share a lane every Wednesday night. Both swim smooth and easy. Though one is phenomenal. Always ending with a flawless lap of butterfly.
But it had all worked out in the end. The flock of screaming kids got out of the family side of the pool. The lifeguards opened another lane for Butterfly woman and her friend. And now, here we all were in Utopia with Plant Questioning Woman taking up all the air.
I glance over at the piece of cactus lying on the towel next to a trying not to giggle round woman. “It’s Aloe, I think,” I offer.
“THAT’s it! Aloe! I used to have that plant in my garden. Mr. Lowes and Mrs. Lowes. Mr. Safeway and Mrs. Safeway. Poooo Mr. Safeway....I used him. I abused him. I ignored the shit outta him. Pardon my French....."
But…..what the hell is Safeway Woman talking about?
“I name all my plants after the stores wheres I got them. Lowes. Safeway, but oh, Mr. Safeway! He grow all crooked. I don’t offer him no stake in the ground. I just let him alone. And now….”
So, to me, it makes sense that if you name a plant after Safeway, well, hell, it’s not going to fare very well with such a moniker. It will wilt. And whither. And tilt. And tither.
“And I love me the Safeway down in Fremont. Ummmm. Ummm.. That Safeway, you know it? It’s off Fremont Blvd on the corner of (I space out, nodding, having no experience with the Fremont Safeway whatsoever). And then the one in Castro Valley. I tell you that one. It has a real good nursery. I think that’s where I got Mr. Safeway and Mrs. Safeway. She doin okay, but Mr. Safeway…..”
She heaves a giant sigh. The demise of Mr. Safeway weighing on her.
Then, slowly, the women rise and head out. The time now 9:43 PM and counting.
“Oh! It is Time to GO!” Safeway Woman announces. “I don’t think they like it if we get out of here late, now do they?”
“Nope,” I agree, moving aside so the Beauteous Asian Swimmers can sneak past me. Sigh. Why couldn’t I have shared a lane with those two tonight instead of mom and son?
But we did all share something in Utopia, right? The giggles were contagious. The energy in Utopia frothy and fun. This is why I continue to go through all the hassle to get here. The stupid lack of parking that brings me to tears. The mayhem in the pool that threatens my sanity. The ickee bathrooms with wet gunk on the floors.
Utopia and its women. This is why I come. And tonight, thanks to Safeway Woman, who seems to be a new addition to the scene, we all can share a giggle, a laugh, or a look of astonishment.
Not me, no siree. Mr. Safeway got what was coming to him! After all he's put me through!
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