Thursday, August 26, 2010

Mermaid for a Morning

I was up at 6 a.m. to swim laps. To clear my mind, etc. Yesterday was a really sucky day for whatever reason. I looked forward to starting a new day.

When I got down to the pool, there was only one person there. Usually there’s at least a few folks swimming or in the hot tub or sometimes there’s an aerobics class; so splashing, bubbling, music and general activity. But this morning, all was silent.

When is the last time the world around you has been completely silent?

I don’t remember. Sure, there are quiet moments at work, but there’s always someone typing or someone talking faraway. This whole total utter silence thing was completely new and totally weird.

Usually I aim to swim 60+ laps. But the pool forced me into a trance me today, and I could not concentrate long enough to count laps. I absentmindedly bumped into the wall a few times, but I wasn’t going fast enough for it to matter. One time I stopped to contemplate something strange floating in the pool. I think it was a piece of the floor. Everything was all too peaceful to take swimming seriously. I think I just splashed around in slow motion, not remembering to worry about whatever was on my mind before. I wondered if this was what it was like to be a mermaid. It was a lovely morning at the pool. I like being a mermaid.

A swimmer entered the lane next to me and broke my trance. I swam a good hard last 10 laps and went off to get ready for work. The locker room made me sad. So much blow drying and hair straightening and mascaraing and eye shadowing. I wondered why women feel they have to spend so much time making themselves pretty. Does natural beauty exist?

Then I went to find a spot at the mirror to blow dry my hair.

Mermaids don’t exist and neither does a world where beauty doesn’t matter.

1 comment:

LaurenW said...

loved this, betsy. you are so right on so many accounts. wow, how i miss you. guess what - i have been swimming in the mornings, too! i can't do it for as long as you can, you stud, but it wakes me up better than anything ever. you'll have to visit again to see how i make this all possible. let's just say exciting. xo