I’ve been swimming laps as physical therapy for my back. Decades of poor posture and five hours of spinal surgery led me to this effective and enjoyable form of exercise. But it does not come without its complications and problems. Swimming laps, and focusing on technique, has brought out the ADHD in me. My mind wanders. In fact, it begins meandering as I get into the pool, before I take my first stroke. Concentrating on what I am supposed to be doing gets lost in stream-of-consciousness thoughts as I glide back and forth in lane one of the indoor public pool down the road.
Aaahh. The water is warmer than last time…Perfect! And I’ve got the pool to myself. No one to distract…Do I still have my underwear on? No, it’s just my bathing suit…OK. Here we go… Start. Reach. Breathe… But it doesn’t feel right. Is this suit mine? It’s too tight. Have I gained weight?…Stroke. Reach. Breathe…Ick. This water has a salty quality. I can taste it. Not a good salty quality. Not like margarita salt …Man, I could use a margarita about now…Is this even a man’s bathing suit?…Stroke. Reach. Stroke Reach…Am I breathing correctly?…Stroke. Stroke… I feel like I’m rowing in the Henley Regatta on the Thames…Stroke. Reach. Breathe… Where did I leave my glasses? They couldn’t have just disappeared. Well, at least I don’t need them here at the…Ouch! Damn wall! Where did that come from? Didn’t see it. I think I scraped my knuckles…Stroke. Reach. Stroke…Focus on swimming in a straight line. Avoid the wall. Oh, that’s funny. Me swimming in a straight line. A gay line would make more sense…Don’t forget. Gary’s birthday is Saturday. What should I buy him? Wine? A book? How old is he anyway? …Ouch! Dammit. Who the hell put this wall here? Trump? Oh, I get it. This is the wall…God, I hate that man…Stop it. Don’t think about him…Think about swimming…Row, row, row your boat, gently down the stream…Hey, this lane is like a stream. Does that mean I’ve finally stepped into the 21st Century and I’m streaming? Or does it just mean I’m a streaming queen? God, that was a horrible pun! Don’t ever use it, say it, or write it. …Why do I feel like I have my underwear on? … Maybe I should move to one of the other lanes to protect my knuckles…Stroke. Pull. Stretch. Stroke…Oh, there’s a woman in lane 3. Where’d she come from?…No. I don’t hate Trump. I’m better than that…She’s not really wearing a red two-piece suit, is she?… OK. I really do hate him. I guess I’m not better than that …Lady, you’re too old for that suit. And too big. You should be wearing a black suit with vertical stripes…Stroke. Reach. Pull…And why are you wearing an orange bathing cap with a red suit?…Where did I buy this swim suit? Is it mine? It doesn’t fit right…Is that woman looking at me? She wants me. I can tell…Stroke. Reach. Stroke…These ceiling beams remind of that restaurant. Oh, what is its name? Crap. Another senior moment. The restaurant with the good margaritas…Man, I really could use one of their margaritas now. It’s an “M” name…Maria’s? Montoya’s? Maggie’s?…Oh, Maggie, I really miss you. You were a special girl. My life is empty without you. You were the best cat. Maggie the Cat…Man, I haven’t watched Cat on a Hot Tin Roof in a long time…Hey, lady in lane 3, stop staring at me. Stop fantasizing and swim. Your drooling is raising the water level…72. Gary’s 72. And he looks terrible. Maybe I should buy him another botched facelift…Wall! Dammit. I swear that fucking wall is moving closer to me.…Oh, now I see why my suit doesn’t feel right. I’ve got both my legs through one opening…How embarrassing! I can’t get out of this pool until the looky-loo in lane 3 leaves…Reach. Reach. Pull…Elizabeth Taylor was so beautiful in that movie. Oh, hell, what was the name of that movie. I forgot. Dammit. Maggie the Cat in, oh, oh, oh, yeah, The Cat in the Hat…How the hell did I get both legs through one leg hole?…Remember to stop at Walmart. Did I take my shopping list with me? Crap. I left it on the counter. And that’s where my glasses are! Next to the shopping list…Oh, good. The woman is finally getting out of the pool and, of course, she’s looking at me again. What a surprise! And now she’s taking off that hideous cap. Oh, my God. It’s Deb, my lesbian neighbor.
“Yes, Deb. I had a great swim. Did you? I didn’t recognize you with that lovely swim cap. Yes. I’ll see you later.”
Oh what could be more embarrassing than that?…Come on, girl, leave…Ah, finally a chance to step out of this suit and get into it correctly. I better look around first and make sure I really am alone. OK. No one’s here. No one’s watching…Man it is difficult pulling off a swimsuit in water when a leg hole is stretched around both hips…But I think I got it. Whew! Free at last.
”Excuse me, Sir,” a voice boomed from a sound system I didn’t know existed. “There is no nude swimming at this pool. This is a public pool. Children swim here. Please, put your suit back on, get dressed, and leave the premises.”
Oh, damn. The embarrassments have now reached Everest proportions. I’m outahere. I don’t need this stupid pool anyway. I need a margarita more.