The Things People Tell Me in the Pool....

"You move through the water like a hot knife through butter!"

"Wow! Thanks," I beam, resting at the wall for a moment, thinking how I have a poetess in my fan club.

"You’re real in tune with the water," she continues, nodding emphatically as she grips her blue and green striped noodle.

"Yes, well, it is the place where I feel the best."
"It shows," she nods, floating off.

As I turn to start another lap, I think about appearances. I mean, I felt horrible today before I got in the pool. I hadn't had any sleep. I'd had to resort to a Unisom at 4:30 am to help. Consequently, I was swimming with both sleep deprivation and drug hangover.

I didn't feel like I was moving through the water like a hot knife through butter. No, more like a spiky porcupine moving through molasses.

Yet, others can't tell. And this Poetess, cuz I'm convinced she is, couldn't tell that I was actually feeling quite sluggish and prickly.

How could this be? How could someone think that I was moving through the pool so effortlessly?
Appearances. No one can know how you're feeling inside. All they can know is what they see. If I'd actually talked to her longer, I may have told her how awful I really felt. But now, after her comment, did I feel so awful anymore?
Hell no!
And as I took off down the lane, I felt myself buoyed up by the water's warm embrace. Slipping through the water in poetic floating.

I really am a hot knife through butter.

“I just love watching you swim,” Blue Suited Square Woman shakes her head, little drops falling from her short grey locks. “You’re just beautiful. It looks so effortless.”

“Yes, well... thanks,” I nod, thinking about the hot knife through butter comment of a few days before. Is there something up with my swimming lately that I’m not feeling? But I don't tell her this.

“I often don’t feel like it’s effortless, you know? But I musta had some good instruction when I was little. I’ve been swimming all my life.”
She grins, “Yeah, well it shows. The rest of us are all just flailing spastically about.”

I chuckle, “Oh, it doesn’t matter! As long as you’re in the water. That’s what counts!”
“You’re right about that!” she agrees, heaving herself out of the pool and lumbering over to retrieve her towel and roller case.

“You can have this lane,” I offer the round polar bear furred little man as I stretch at the side. “I’m getttin out.”

“Oh, well….” he smiles, nervous and appreciative, “thank you kindly.”

He plops into my lane, the fine white fuzz on his back speckling drops of water. I have a feeling of slight ickiness in the pit of my stomach, but why? I mean, people have fur on their backs, esp. men, yet there’s something strange about him since his ‘fur’ is so white.

Maybe he was a polar bear come to Hilltopia disguised as a swimmer?
“The last time I was here,” he leans toward me, conspiratorially, “I jumped into the pool and swam half a lap and then stopped because the swimmer I was sharing a lane with was waving me down, his face was all contorted and I wondered, what was wrong with him? And then I looked down and I had forgotten to put my swim trunks on!”

He chuckles heartily. I stare at him, speechless, so glad that this didn’t happen to me. I wondered if he had jumped in the pool in his underwear or was he completely naked or….

Damn, I don’t want to think about this image, you know?

The things people say to me in the pool!

I’d much rather imagine a hot knife through butter than a former polar bear man naked.

I watch him as he begins his flail down the lane. Square Woman is right. Everyone does flail in the pool.
But like I said, that doesn’t matter. As long as I am not sharing a lane with them that is!


Ruth Jameson said…
I did have a chuckle reading this, so, Thanks.

Your pool buddies are right. You do slip through the water like a mermaid with legs, beautiful, in sync with your own world of the "now" of water. I remember when your were a little girl, and watching you and wondering where that grace came from as one of your pool buddies sail, I do flail about in the water...

Cj said…
Thanks for reading, R! I think the water is my true home! And I guess this shows to all who watch me! Flailing in the water is fine too. As long as you're in the water. This is all that matters!

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