Friday, April 28, 2006

On a sunny afternoon, things seem a little less trite and cynical in my world.
Know that it is, then, with utter sincerity that I share with you the images and moments that have managed to mark my life in the last few days. They're nothing much, just a few scattered observations about living in town and sharing a city and its resources with thousands of other people, going about their lives, sharing their space and their city with me.

New Hero!

The other day I went to the pool for a swim after work. The lanes were full of somersaulting college boys, trim girls in round swim caps, and proliferate with older, professional people (all a little muffiny about the edges, all a little squeezed into their swimming suits).

I was a bit shy about it. The woman who'd asked if she could make three in a lane at a busy hour last week made things a touch easier. All I had to do was be polite and somewhat sheepish about it.

My target was the lane closest to the wall on the South side of the building. One swimmer. Though an optical illusion, the lane appeared smaller than the others. This being due, I believe, to its one solid edge. She was geared up in a leopard-print one-piece and round as a hot-crossed bun. Her Clairol red hair was piled atop her head in a vain attempt to avoid the pool full of water, and she was doing a version of the breast stroke that I recognized from when I used to be afraid to put my face in the water (neck craned back at an uncomfortable angle, her movement particularly vertical in the water. I watched her swim a few laps back and forth, and watched her watch me waiting to ask the big question.

Eyeing one another like two interviewees crossing paths in the hallway, we started one another down. Finally, as she approached the shallow end, I made my move. Voice soft and deliberately not at all brassy, I blurted my little prepared speech in her general direction as she neared the end of the pool, "Would you mind if I shared a lane with you?" Her response, a little more metered than my own explosion, and obviously also pre-prepared for this precise moment sailed forth with a bold Eastern European accent, "Yes! It'z not my own perzonal pool, you zee!"

She kept swimming. I'm not sure why, but she became my own personal hero for the day.

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