Friday, March 27, 2020

Mad as Hell!

“I’m mad as hell and I’m not gonna take it anymore!” Remember that line? Remember that movie? Network, right? What was everyone so mad about? I don’t even recall. But I do remember everyone opening up their windows, sticking their heads out and yelling this line.

And today? “I’m so angry!” Turban Woman stomps back from the pool, lugging her polka dot suitcase, her face swollen with emotion. Why? The pool. It was closed. In the middle of the day. Why? Cutbacks. Lifeguards cost too much? But what about all the renovations that have been ongoing at the Y for months? How many 1000s of dollars has this cost?

We all pay our membership dues to access all the facility’s venues during its posted hours. But the pool has been deemed too costly. The numbers are down. They don’t justify the pool staying open during these down times.

And so, I’m mad. Turban Woman is mad. Poor Weekend late afternoon swimmer. I ran into her coming out of the Y on Saturday round 3. I know she’s headed for the pool. “I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news,” I stop her on her way in. “But the pool is closed now.”

“But….” She shakes her head. “That can’t be. They told me it was open till 4. It’s on the new schedule.”
“Well, you can go ask them, but I’m pretty sure it’s closed.”
Later she told me that the schedule was wrong. The words above the calendar gave the times differently than the visual boxes. She looked at the boxes. They showed the pool open till 4. The words said, “Pool closed from 3-6”

What are you going to do?
Write letters! Sign petitions. Gripe a LOT!

“I am so pissed off…” A says to me today as she heads toward her locker. “You know why.”
I nod, “Yeah, the pool.”
She sighs, loudly, “I am seriously considering finding an alternative.” She shakes her head. “But it is the same all over. The Plunge, they too, are cutting their hours.”
“It’s that way everywhere!” I exclaim. “The pool is just a microcosm for the world we live it. Cutbacks at the pool Cutbacks at our jobs. Cutbacks in healthcare. Cutbacks everywhere! We are just paying more for less and it’s a gigantic systemic problem in the US, hell in the world!”

She nods. “You know, Carol, you are right. That is so true. I hadn’t thought of it that way.”

I slam my locker shut, grabbing my lotions and brush for the final stage of my post pool preening. Remember the article I’d read in the East Bay Times that morning. “How Fed Up Are YOU?” How everyone in the Bay Area is fleeing. They’re fed up with homelessness, traffic, the high cost of living, and “they’re not gonna take it anymore?”

I wonder. What the hell can we do?
Yell? Scream? Write? Swim?
I opt for swimming as long as possible. Till I get fed up. And flee the Bay Area like 60% of my fellows.

A grabs her keys, her water bottle, follows me toward the sinks. I tell her about the fallout from Rec Swim. How now, since we're all crammed in the pool in the shortened hours, the families with their screaming kids come pouring into the women's locker rooms on the weekends. Kids yelling in the showers; teenagers sitting on sinks, blowdrying their filp flops, little boys scampering around the lockers, staring at the naked women. It's mayhem! 

A shakes her head in sympathy,  "I don't know,  Carol. I don't know what we are going to do. They won't' do anything."

I nod. Think she's probably right, yet I still write letters. I still post blogs. I still talk to everyone. 
We must resist, right? Or what is the point?


And....I thought this was bad?! Little did  I know what was around the corner. The CoronaVirus. The Plague. The Boomer Remover.

The pools are not just reduced in hours---they are ALL entirely CLOSED! I'm on day 13 with no pool. No swim....

And no end in sight.

Hence, the Walking Journals.....

Mad as Hell!

“I’m mad as hell and I’m not gonna take it anymore!” Remember that line? Remember that movie? Network , right? What was everyone so ma...