Sunday, September 11, 2011

who is that old woman?

"I'm never getting out of here, am I?" I said to the woman behind the information desk.  She was a pleasant, softly plump lady with a Hollywood smile probably due to her husband's expensive dental plan.  She was charged with making my ID card at this local college so I could swim in their pool this winter.  She had only made one other card and there was a single-spaced typed set of instructions on a paper next to her and she would glance from that paper to her computer screen and back again never making an entry.  And her phone kept ringing and she was new to the job and it would take her a few minutes to collect her thoughts and try to remember what information she needed to complete the task.  I sighed and glanced at the clock knowing the pool only had a little more than a precious hour to remain open.  To make matters worse a security guard named Doug who looked to be in his 90's kept trying to make conversation with me. "Everything secure, Doug?" I asked.  I check out the novel  the woman is reading, sitting on her desk. Why can't I get a job where I can read?  The back cover describes it as a romance set in the deep South and there are lots of y'alls scattered in the text, a book I will never read, snob that I am.

Finally I get my card and I grimace at my laminated appearance now slashed across a picture of the football field. Who is that old woman?  It is torture for me to be in front of a camera and I have systematically eliminated a lot of photos of me that cross my coffee table.  In the dim future no one will remember what I look like and that suits me well.

I am in the pool and I miss the open sky that was above me all summer. I peruse the lists of swimming records on the walls, names and dates, and wonder if I will have them memorized by April. The dates are wildly scattered and that indicates the team has not done well but this is a small Catholic college and there are no athletic scholarships. I feel old next to these earnest fresh-faced students splashing each other at the pool's edge, their whole lives ahead of them, many decisions to be made.  I am content to be an old lady with just a few decisions left and time to enjoy the luxury of a late summer swim.


MrDaveyGie said...

Did Doug have one bullet in his front shirt pocket?

dawn marie giegerich said...

Don't make fun of Barney.

Amy Giegerich said...

I feel old next to Doug