Up pre-dawn this morning, I decided to be productive and go swim some laps. The pool opens at 6:30 which is fine by me. I figure that the only people who will show up to a community pool at 6:30am are little old ladies and assholes who take fitness really seriously. So I threw boxers and a sweatshirt over my new Speedo and flip flopped myself down there.
Conveniently our lifeguard was not the standard 17 year old boy, who tends to look exactly like the sort that frightened me with great frequency in high school. It was my friend Katy who is very in charge and officious and upon seeing me rub my chlorinated eyes at the end of every lap, threw me some mercy goggles.
I was off, powering through the water and I could see under there! I watched my hands dive in front of me, pushing the water out of my way with this pretty little trail of bubbles.
I’ve written about my early morning swims before, detailing the complex rules regarding lane sharing. I guess I never fully understood it, but if there’re two people in a lane, you each stick to your half of the lane. If a third joins you, everyone kind of goes in a circle, which means y’all need to swim at relatively the same speed. The thing is, if I’m in a lane with one other person, sticking to my side like there’s no tomorrow, I’m in the zone. I’m not looking around to see if I’m supposed to suddenly change the whole scheme of my lap swim.
So finally, at the far end of the pool (by the waterslide!), I look up to see my lane mate giving me this bizarre hand jive. What the fuck? It was like baseball signals, and I think it’s safe to assume I don’t know any of those, only this was related to recreational swimming. So I’m standing in 5 feet of water, hair stuck to my face, squinting down the lane at this air traffic controller and his angry signals.
It’s not that far, so I dared to speak. “What are you trying to express to me? I don’t know what your hand signals mean.”
Katy came over to explain it to me, when I noticed someone else in our lane.
Oh shit, we’re a three! We need to be circling! And I’m betting, now that I’ve made myself completely look like an idiot, that circling has some sort of hand jive.
Why is this so fucking difficult? Do any of you have a pool? Seriously. Do any of you have a pool? I’ll gladly net leaves out of it and lounge around telling little anecdotes. Ideally, I’d prefer it if you weren’t there, but at this point, as long as I don’t have do the hokey pokey every goddamn time I need to share a lane, I’d be forever grateful…