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Mean swimmers

Yesterday I swam in the lane farthest from the steps. I like this lane for that very reason, actually. I don't get bothered, people are less likely to hover in my area, looking to share the lane, and there are swimmers only on one side of me, making me feel more alone. When I was done swimming, I glanced at the lane next to me, saw that the swimmer was well at the other end, and walked through it. There was a woman in the lane next to that, standing facing the wall with her eyes closed. I said excuse me to her and entered her lane, which seemed to startle her. She turned and half-smiled at me. I was still looking at her when I entered the last lane, the one closest to the stairs. This is the lane I avoid because the steps enter directly into it and it's easy to be hitting the wall when someone else is entering the pool. When I swim in it I am always alert to this possibility.

The swimmer in this lane was very close to the wall, came crashing up, lifted his head,  and said "I wish you guys wouldn't do that." I said, "I usually pay more attention," which is true. I was somehow distracted by the woman and forgot to look into his lane before entering it. He said, "Doesn't matter. It still screws me up royally."

He took off down the lane. When I was a few steps out of the water, I turned and looked back and saw the woman giving me one of those "good grief" looks, as affected by this man's rudeness as I was. I smiled and raised my eyebrows and left. I thought it was a good thing he was a man, because I didn't want to encounter him in the locker room. Later I thought about ways I might avoid ever having to encounter him again. I remembered that he was balding in the middle of his head, so it won't be that hard to pick him out in the pool, probably,although I am not sure about out of the pool. Then I thought,what if the unlikely happened,and he found me and apologized for his manner. I could look at him and, with a smile, say, "Doesn't matter. You're still an ass."

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