Enjoy It While You Can!

“Enjoy it while you can,” Sandy proclaimed, shaking her head as I climbed up beside her on the top shelf of Utopia. DL had already settled in on the bottom shelf, languidly stretching out in the warmth of dialogue and exhaustion.

I’d been telling Sandy how I’d had an entire lane to myself in the pool. That NEVER happens at the Oakland Downtown Y. It had been perfect swimming bliss to not be in a Splash Sandwich or kicked by Shoe Swimming Woman or crashed into by a swimmer not holding her lane.

“The summer camps will be here before you know it,” Sandy continued.

“What do you mean?” Tattooed All Over Woman on the other side of Sandy perked up. Was she a swimmer too? I didn’t remember seeing her in the pool. I think I would’ve remembered! The tattoos were all over and elaborate. Although I couldn’t quite tell what they were of in the dusky dim light of Utopia.

Sandy turned to her new audience. Ready to inform. It was her job here at the Downtown Oakland Y: “Every summer, round mid June till about the end of August, the kids are let out of school and enroll in summer camps here at the Y. They get dumped off behind the Y here, and lemme tell you, like it isn’t crazy enough around here already, those kids are looking to get run over by someone driving and texting in their SUV. Anyway, they take over the pool and the facility so…..” Sandy settled back into her slouch, “just beware.”
Tattoo Woman nodded. Then got up and left.

“Guess you scared her off,” I joked.

Sandy smirked. “She needs to know. It’s crazy round here. Why, I remember a time that my sister-in-law’s brother was riding his bike down Telegraph Ave and someone opened their car door and wham, cut right through his juggler and he was a goner.”
“Oh my god, that’s terrible!” I exclaimed. I couldn’t believe she’d just tell us this story in such a startling nonchalant manner, but then I should know better by now. I told her how I have a horrible fear of hitting someone walking or biking when I’m circling the Y looking for parking near tears and plagued by waves of frustration.

“And that’s not all,” Sandy was on a roll tonight. “You know how pythons are running wild in Florida and there’s a call out to hunt down as many as possible?”

“Uh….I think I’ve heard of that,” I murmured. Do I really want to hear about killer snakes now after the Killer Car?

“Well, one guy caught a python who had swallowed an entire deer! A deer! Can you believe that? Imagine the mass that was found in that Python. Why it was bigger than you, Carol!”
I had to laugh. Imagining myself inside a python, though, wasn’t really what I was after at this point in the evening.

DL got up. Weaved out without looking back. “Sorry, DL!” Sandy called after her, chuckling.

“I think she had reached her heat limit actually," I said. "Though maybe it was the python story…..”

Sandy rose and followed DL out, though not before one final comment to ponder: "It’s not as bad as the news,” Sandy said before closing the door behind herself.

I was left with Coconut Oil Smearing Woman who gave me a perplexed look. “She’s right.”
“Yes, I know, that’s why I avoid the news,” I said, starting to rise.
“Yeah, well, I work at a radio station so I hear it all all the time.”
“I bet you do,” I nodded. A radio station? I wondered which one, thinking this added a whole new dimension to Coconut Oil Woman. But it was time to go and I was hot, tired, hungry and well….frankly, didn’t want to hear anything else that might give me the willies.

“See you next time,” I said to her, making my way to the showers and back to the lockers where Sandy was still holding court.
“It smells like fruity lip gloss here,” I commented, dumping my wet swim stuff on the stool as I began to turn my lock's combination.
DL continued to rub lotion on herself in luxurious mode situation. Sandy nodded, “Yeah, I know what you mean. Better that than last night. The sauna smelled like a Zoo.”
DL’s stopped her lotion luxury, eyes wide, and cracked up. I joined her.
Later, DL says to me, “Only Sandy could take Utopia to Zootopia!”
Yup, only Sandy could.
What does a Zoo smell like?
I don’t even want to go there…..at least not now…..


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