Lane swimming

February 14, 2011 § Leave a comment

The pool is busier than usual this evening.

The slight middle-aged man, taut in trunks and yellow-lensed goggles, has been waiting for his moment. The regulars are swimming in line, the length of a body between them and though most of them swim with heads up, stubborn and graceless as dogs, they refuse to make eye contact, and certainly wouldn’t let someone in. Should have been here at the start of the session like the regulars, they’re thinking. Should wait his turn, they’re thinking.

They can’t keep it up, though – here this woman in the floral bathing cap must cling to the lane end in pretence at adjusting her costume, and that portly man down there, he’s stopped to wheeze whilst he fiddles with his goggles. Not that he’d put his head under the water anyway, not there where the ladies are opening and closing their legs in some parody of invitation as they struggle back and forth in an ungainly breaststroke.

And now this slight man takes his chance, pushing out from the wall and floating so far along the pool bottom, exhaling all the way so that he leaves a trail of bubbles – his breath left behind for all these indignant people to swim through, oblivious.

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