Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Chlorinated Reverie



I've been swimming a lot lately... for many reasons.


I started this endeavor most obviously for the sake of my health... all those years of sitting on my ass in order to eke out a freelance living have not been overly kind to my physical well-being. I need the aerobic exercise to get my heart back into shape. So... I found an affordable public indoor pool that is well maintained and of a suitable length for lap swimming and set to it.

It's already made a tremendous impact on my general energy level... and now that I'm working whole sets of muscles that have up to now remained fairly dormant, I'm beginning to see my former muscle-tone reappear.

It's a great feeling, let me tell you... to be back in the water again.
I used to swim a great deal in my youth... I was even at one time considered an excellent aquatic athlete and held the fastest 100 yard Backstroke time in Texas for my age group. I loved being on the town's Swimming Team (Temple Aquatic Swim Club or T.A.S.C.) when I was a boy... but as I grew older, the increased pressure and the constant demands that the competitive aspect of the sport made upon my young grade school life proved too much for me. I found that I no longer truly enjoyed even being in the water anymore... it was becoming like a job to me. So... much to my Father's chagrin,... I quit the team.

Ahhh... what might have been had I stuck with it...

Regardless... a few months after I made the decision to leave the world of constant practice and swim meets behind... I slowly re-discovered the wonder of liquid weightlessness and rekindled my love affair with the water.

So now I'm going to the pool 3 times a week for an hour or more, swimming lap after lap at my leisure. It's amazing... even beyond the fact that I know this kind of a workout is good for me physically. I've always loved to be in the water... for as long as I can remember...

Which brings me to the other sort of swimming that I've been doing lately...

Every other day at around 6pm or so,... she cautiously walks across the pool deck, carefully hangs her towel on a peg, and slips gracefully into the water. The same deep blood red one-piece suit and cadmium orange swimcap every time...

I'm not sure if it is by grand design or happy accident that she always seems to situate herself in an adjacent lane to mine, never more than one lane away. She is very deliberate in her actions and her stroke is very smooth and even... neither arm seeming more dominant. Each stroke is represented vigorously with the same measured execution. I find myself lingering before a flip-turn or executing criminally languid underwater wall launches in order to watch her form moving through the water from beneath. From the front, Rectus Femorus and Vastus Lateralis flex and ripple like steel bands moving just beneath the tawny skin... while from the rear, Biceps Femoris and Gastrocnemius pull and contract like powerful organic bowstrings drawn across a Kyudo horseman's great weapon. She is truly a beautiful machine in motion...

When she leaves the pool at 6:30 sharp to gather her towel and head towards the women's showers, I wonder to myself... Could this be the same creature I've been observing so breathlessly for the last half hour?
Surfaced, she is still lovely... but more modest in her demeanor. Her long torso bowed slightly and her head tilted down towards the slick cement as she walks, she hardly cuts the same path as her submerged alter ego. Even the flexor groups in her thighs only flash timidly as she slowly makes her way to the stairwell out of the pool area.

I wonder if I would even notice her if I passed her on the street above?
She has a pleasant enough face... with even, symmetrical, and almost elfin features... I could easily see myself enjoying her company. We could sit at an acrylic table and sip coffee together, talking nonchalantly about our daily travails.
I could look into her oval face and listen to her speak and watch how her tongue moved between her small thin lips... all the while thinking about the subtle flex of the Suprapatellar Bulge that lays just above her smooth kneecap when she stands, walks, or sits...

Will I ever speak to her?
How could I?
What would I say that wouldn't mark me as an ogling predator... a keen connoisseur of magnificent physical specimens?
In this day and age... how does one simply tell a stranger that he finds her beautiful without sounding obtuse or threatening?

I must try....
I'm swimming in her wake...

6 comments:

David said...

Wow! Just when I thought it was safe to go back into the water,Uncle Greg emerges with not one but two tidal waves of talent! What a fantastic painting! Is it new, or one that has just now come to the surface? Outstanding! Also the depiction of your other swimming venture is extremly eloquent.I can not wait to hear more about it.Let me some it up by saying you should not be submitting your work to magazines and comics, you should be writing your own!!OK, I am done with the compliments,but I am also glad to hear you are begining to lead a more healthy life. Gotta go, but again, I love the painting...XO-D PS checkout Keith's blog update.

Justin Leigh Leiter said...

I'll agree with David...some of your best, most beautiful writing, Greg...hey, maybe you've got a novel in you....

Greg said...

Thanks for the kind words, fellows...

The painting is an old one from a series I started about 4 years back... I never even got it halfway finished. I'm surprised that you like it so much... it's actually just the under-painting...

I hope to re-do it properly someday.
I only used it because it seemed oddly fitting...

Dan Springer said...

Maybe you could "accidentally" bump into her while swimming, and then say in a really loud voice "ME LIKE YOU!!! YOU LIKE ME TOO??"
That usually works wonders.

Greg said...

Aaah Dan...
Now I finally know why you're always practically SWIMMING in babes whenever I see you...

Dan Springer said...

Yeah, that's my signature move, but I'll let you borrow it this one time since you're both in a pool. I also pretend to be a caveman that scientists have unfrozen. I'm "Unfrozen Caveman Artist".