Friday, September 01, 2006
Swim At Your Own Risk
As a child, I learned to swim in a medium-sized above ground swimming pool in our backyard. The pool was my favorite place to be (a good thing given that the Texas summers in those days were unrelenting). The heat caused people to go a little mad -- days that didn't dip below a hundred degrees resulted in a variety of violent crimes, particularly murder, hence the expression, It's so fucking hot I could kill someone! I even wanted to swim in the winter and jumped into the pool fully clothed when I had ascertained that the adults heads were turned. My father, smoking a cigarette, came in, lit cigarette and all and pulled me out of the freezing water. The good result -- he stopped smoking then and there forever. I remained in love with the water despite the fact that my stupidity caused me to almost drown a few times -- strong swimmers are the ones always overestimating their abilities and getting into trouble.
Years later, I trained to lifeguard, my favorite young person job. Given that I'd just gotten out of working at a slaughterhouse, the city pool was a huge step up. The pool was owned in part by the home for emotionally disturbed/criminal/touched teenagers down the road. Every day they would get two hours in the pool. The other lifeguards hated this time because we had to keep a close eye on them, especially since many of them used this somewhat unsupervised time to try and make time (ie, have sex or some semblance) with their beloveds in the pool. The others who hadn't the good fortune to have a girlfriend or boyfriend would run around and jump on each other's heads off the diving board. I didn't mind, though. They were so happy to be there, you could hear them yelling as they ran down the road from nearly a mile away. When you did have to jump in and get them to the side for whatever reason, they were mostly active victims, a term for people who struggle against being saved, so much so that you have to put their heads underwater a couple of times to calm them down, something I understood all too well.
Michelle's Spell of the Day
"When you cannot immediately access the situation, direct others to get help." Lifeguard Instruction Guide
Drinking movie suggestion: The Believer
Benedictions and Maledictions
In answer to John Ricci -- the lovely woman in question is my friend Hank's younger sister, Higgins. She's getting married this year on New Year's Eve -- the same time that picture was taken. Congratulations, Higgins!