Friday, September 7, 2012

The angle swimmer

A while back I was outraged by a swarthy man I called Saddam Hussein, with whom I occasionally had to share the swimming pool.  I huffed and puffed about how he swam from corner to corner rather than the usual length of the rectangle.  Even when I was already in the pool swimming laps, he would get in and side-stroke corner to corner.

I projected all the qualities of a predatory tyrant on this man I didn't know except as an annoyance the few times I met him in the pool.

Then we moved to an apartment on a different floor.  Often I waited for the elevator with a short, congenial man with an East Indian accent, who exchanged pleasantries with me.  After a few of these meetings, I realized that this gentle man was THE ANGLE SWIMMER fully dressed.

Ouch.  Time to re-examine my quick and deadly judgments for the zillioneth time.  Eat that chattering crow.

Later he came to the pool just as I was getting out.  "The pool is much cleaner," he said.  (It had been closed for cleaning the week before).

"Yes," I said, "and so are the windows."

 He looked out at the garden and nodded.

"Have a good swim," I said and left him to his angled side stroke.


  1. Lovely, lovely post. Thank you.

  2. Beautifully-written reminder. Even more so when, after a moment, I remembered this:

    Thank you.

  3. Love your guts Louise Plummer!