Friday, June 27, 2014

buffalo bill

Every day I spray myself with a Coppertone product designed for water use, it's kind of like shellac for your skin. When I flex my elbow or bend my knee my skin actually cracks. But it's good stuff and it keeps the melanoma bugs at bay. I have never encountered a pool with shade trees so my ninety-minute lap sessions require sun screen with the density of a good varnish.

Most of the participants during the adult swim time are large older women and we call them water walkers. They go back and forth, back and forth in the shallow areas, talking about doctor appointments and restaurant menus. Their choice of slow almost non-existent exercise and love of double bacon cheeseburgers (I catch snatches of their conversations as I work my way through the water) keep them overweight. But they are a kindly lot and I respect the fact that they are trying.

As I near the edge of the lane I encounter two male life guards, young men probably college students earning their summer keep and they are deep in talk. I hear the one kid say, "no room for us to swim today, this place is teeming with buffalo." Jesus, what, excuse me and I draw myself up to the five-foot height that is me. "That was an unkind thing to say!" I tell him and his orange-framed sunglasses swerve my way. He smirks when he sees me, little old lady, salt and pepper dyke haircut and wrinkly neck. "Wha-a-a-t?" he uses his best squirrely tone, reserved for the likes of me and unimportant types. "Your turn will come," I spit back. "I would like to see what you look like in 60 years."

I am angry and swim away quickly. I inherited my father's trigger temper and I know it is better to leave and wait until I simmer down  and then attempt a conversation.  If I don't I will say something truly stupid and risk a punch in the face. This much I know about myself.  Several laps later I approach the prick and he says "I was referring to their behavior not their weight." "I wasn't aware buffalo behave," I respond. "I meant they are like, herding. Maybe I should have used a smaller animal to reference this whole thing." "Maybe I should talk to your supervisor."

He has longish blond hair, a surfer look with a few Asian tattoos, attempting to copy karma, so beyond him. His slack hardened expression tells me he has no conscience. The supervisor listens to me, appears sympathetic but there he is the next day, sitting on his high chair, whistle in mouth, observing his herd.

"Hey Buffalo Bill!" I shout his way, "how's it going today, sweetness?" I like being old, there are no apologies, no explanations, we get away with everything, no one's listening.  He scowls and bites down on his whistle. Karma says,what goes down comes around, dude. Good luck when that happens.

2 comments:

Dan said...

What, Dawn Marie?!! Better he should have been more precise and bellowed `WATER buffalo.'

I approve of your kindness toward bloated burger gobblers proving the existence of one of the more important laws of physics (gravity). But I'm with the kid.

"Water walkers." Somehow Jesus popped up in my head. Jesus!!

Arizaphale said...

1) hahhaa: Dan made me laugh!

2) I'm gonna come down on the side of youth here. At least Surfer Dude made some attempt to redeem himself. I remember how stupid I was at 18+ and the things I said, until someone pointed stuff out to me. All I wanted was for them to forgive me and accept my growth. The mean ones never did.
On the other hand, I am with you all the way on that being old thing!! Who gives f*** anyway???