I am the asshole at your local pool

You’ve just started a rep of triceps with your swim weights, a gentle stretch, or perhaps you’ve reserved a lane next some friends so that you can chat while you do some nice slow “swim walking” when you spot me: the asshole of the public swimming pool.

You’d first noticed me in the locker room moments earlier, where I’d immediately squeezed into a bathroom stall rather than change in the open, eschewing the body positive attitude you’d come to love about the pool. All shapes and sizes are peeling off their tight suits and letting it all hang out, but this bitch, you think, just has to hide her maybe size eight frame in a bathroom stall the size of a water heater closet. Clearly, you conclude, I’m too good for normal locker room behavior.

Then, the unthinkable happens. As you’re heading to the showers to pre-rinse, as all good pool users do, you see me bust out of the stall like a bull in a china shop, sling my gym bag over my shoulder and head up to the pool without showering. What the ACTUAL FUCK?!, you think to yourself? Does this imprudent thug WANT me to swim in a fine layer of her skin and daily grime?

You find yourself wondering why I’m even there to begin with. You’ve been doing water exercise for five years now, since that knee replacement surgery. It’s enough that you have to deal with the rotating door of likely snake person lap swimmers, who show up in fancy swim caps and goggles only to splash you from four lanes over with their aggressive butterfly stroke and grunt in your general direction when you ask them to reign it in. In fact, you originally assumed I must be one of them — the apathetic, entitled youth who can’t be bothered to spend time smiling or saying hello. But then I followed you, right into the shallow end, and started some traveling water aerobics down a neighboring lap. You estimate I’m maybe in my thirties — what the hell am I doing there, in the shallow end?

Then, you see me fiddle with a small device clipped to my swimsuit. It appears to be some kind of iPod, but one that must be water resistant. Just when you look away, deciding that you won’t let me ruin a perfectly good swim stroll, a rapid motion catches your eye again. I’m bobbing my head and bouncing faster and faster, practically popping and locking my way through the pool with a look of sheer, unadulterated joy on my face juxtaposed with your look of horror and disgust. Am I … swim dancing?

Oblivious to the confused stares of the rest of the shallow enders, I really start to commit when the South Park movie soundtrack comes on after a few Hamilton songs, but you don’t know that. All you see is that giant, jubilant grin on my face and … did I just mouth “uncle fucker?!” Yes, you realize with shock. I did. As I continue, doing a jaunty Scottish reel with myself as I pretend to dance an evidently dickless jig, I am blind to the almost cartoonish drop of your jaw.

I continue with my reckless enthusiasm, dancing through the water as you float by with the group of friends you’ve come to fondly refer to as “the ladies,” still scowling in my general direction. Smiling obliviously, I turn to you and your group as you come to a stop at the end of the lane and say: “Wheewww! What a workout, right? I’m getting a hot flash!” I fan myself, laughing as you inwardly seethe and the ladies trade a three-way look.

“Oh, honey,” you say lightly, betraying none of your actual feelings towards me. “You’re too young for something like that!”

“Nah,” I say casually, slinging my body out of the pool. “I’m not.” I’m thinking about my breast cancer medication, all the extra vitamins and the daily side effects that have effectively caused me to go through menopause twice in the last five years, but you don’t know that. Your hatred has grown epic now, blazing up from your toes like a bad day at Kilauea, threatening to tear down the pleasant smile you’re using all of your effort to keep plastered on your face.

Thankfully, before your expression wavers from one that would be highly inappropriate for open exercise hour at the pool, I wave and lumber away from the pool, disappearing into the locker rooms. Thank goodness, you think. Now I can enjoy my ladies swim club in peace.

What you don’t know is that I’ve got a waterproof mp3 player completely filled with vulgar upbeat music and I’ll be back next week — same time, same place.

See you then!


The asshole of your local pool


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