bathing cap

Cookum, Baba and Nonna waddle towards the hot pool, three rutabagas. As soon as they hit the water, they become three beets. I instantly love them. How did they meet? There they are, cackling together, one with a rubber cap, one with false teeth. The other showing cleavage down to her knees.Unknown

Beside them is a tattooed biker dude with a drippy “wet dog” handlebar stash. He’s chatting up a skeleton in a bikini telling her how much it hurt to have the cop kick sand behind his eyes. The skeleton is the one who makes me sigh. Her black eyeliner ghouling up her already sunken eyes. Her wrists are so breakable, like the bones you don’t ever feed to your dogs because they splinter.

I wonder…if the grandmothers met this couple on the street in their leather and their jeans, would they be afraid of them? Would they clutch their purses? But there’s no fear here in the hot pool. At Britannia community centre: the root vegetables rule.

I notice the hot pool eventually divides into the boy’s side and the girl’s side. Then one tall androgynous athlete strides down the centre of the pool, droplets of water propped up on an angular afro like a crown of diamonds. The athlete parts the waters and sits exactly in-between genders. Eyes close, magnificent strong brown lean limbs float, elbows akimbo, something akin to relief.

Nora waves at me with steamy goggles by the water fountain mushroom. Her bikini top is hiked up around her pits, hiding nothing but her collar bone. She finally interprets my sign language and makes a huge O with her lips and yanks her top too far down, little pink dimes pulling a Kilroy this time. She giggles, then dives for a sea bottom ring.

Old men do laps, woofing at the water like skilled whiskery hunting dogs.

Dad of the day with a baby on a boogie board. They’re both rocking back and forth singing a ditty like drunken sailors.

A pack of wolfish young men in sporty sleek trunks. They have just finished playing hockey on bikes in the tennis court.

And somehow in the middle of this beautiful humanity is me. Getting out of the house in search of a story.



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