Missing Swimming

The dull sickening thud against front bumper, was not a good start to the day… My heart sank as I realised I’d just made my 3rd avian kill. This early morning murder felt worse than previous hits… I felt sad and annoyed with myself that I’d not adjusted my path. The first bird to die by my car had been a pigeon. Pigeons are congenitally stupid, they sit in the road and they fly at you. Other birds fly away and this morning I’d credited the blackbird with more intelligence than pigeons. I adjust my car all the time for pigeons… That first death lives on in my mind. I thought I had missed the bird, as I passed by without the tell tale thud but then I glimpsed into my wing mirror and caught sight behind me of the explosion cyclone of feathers… I tried to convince myself that I’d not created that as surely there would have been a thunk? When I pulled up, there’s no escaping the facts as I have to open the bonnet to remove the cluster of torn and bloodied feathers that had gotten gripped in the gap between hood and wing… I kept the unwanted token of my kill in the car, hidden away, a secret warning to other pigeons to stay out of my way… They don’t heed the warning but I swerve them better as I don’t much have the stomach for cleaning up the aftermath.

My second kill was a pheasant during mating season. Pheasants really over estimate their prowess… (unless of course there are female pheasants out there that I’ve never seen, which are the size of a Ford Galaxy…) They’re territorial and will charge out of hedgerows to defend their turf. I was not happy to have offed it but I didn’t feel too guilty as if the bird couldn’t tell the difference between another bird and a hulking great metal monster then I reasoned it deserved the Darwin Award and I was unwittingly being of service in the task of clearing out the shallow end of the gene pool…

This morning, number 3 felt like we’d both had a momentary lapse of peripheral vision, that we were both just going about our day, temporarily oblivious to each other and on a day where either of us had had sharper wits, then he’d still be living…

I got back from 1st run 10 mins early, knowing odds on passenger for 2nd run would be 10 mins late. I faced 20 minutes alone with my own thoughts… I remembered how after kill 2, Mr S had slipped into Buddha Boy mode and tried to ease my mind by saying that maybe I’d committed an act of good karma, that I’d kept the circle of life turning and speeded up a little the pheasant’s entry into the food chain… A meritous act bringing early breakfast for other creatures… I don’t know? I do know the body lay undignified in the verge for another week, one wing flapping up into the air and waving as I passed that way twice a day… And I’d almost sobbing call out – stop it stop I’m sorry so sorry…

I needed to reroute my thoughts… In an effort to cheer myself up, I took the wrong angle… The guy on the radio said that the weather is set to shoot up to 27°C today… I wondered if lockdown would be lifted enough by mid-July to make my planned months ago break away… A jaunt with my sister to hit Bristol Lido… Would any of Bristol be left by then… I should have been in Oxford recently… Riots erupted… Bristol… Riots… I daren’t even think about going places as it feels like predicting the location for the next angry outbreak… Besides even if hotels reopen by then, what are the odds that outdoors swimming pools will be back on the cards…

Oh… Fuck… Fuck… FUCK! I miss swimming…

Still 10 minutes to wait… Hmmm… Maybe fb will be the narcotic to numb my pain 🤣 No, it mocks me and washes up pool time memories from 3 years ago…

So… at the pool today, a guy catches my eye as he purposely strides from the entrance, along the side of the pool and up to the deep end… it gets my attention as mainly the men who show up on a Friday shuffle down the steps with hand rails into the shallow end in a way that makes me think that they can smell their own mortality and feel the presence of the reaper closing in not far behind them… So this guy with zest and symmetrical gait turns my head for a closer look… I notice a XIV about 8 inches high across his left pectoral muscle and I smile as I see emblazoned across his right deltoid trailing down his back, an angel’s wing and it fills my little tarot heart with glee to think that Temperance has just landed at the water’s edge…
I am soon pleased even further… there’s an old Indian guy who comes every week and hogs two lanes as he flaps in a less than dignified fashion on his back in a way that looks as though he’s been nailed to a crucifix… he never veers from his path and pays no heed to the world around him… Up and down he goes… I see XIV swim past him doing a front crawl, he turns at the shallow end and returns doing the backstroke… I watch and wait as I wonder how this is going to go as geriatric Jesus is in his flight path and neither of them are looking where they are going… XIV ploughs on… his shoulder nestles into Jesus’s armpit… the two of them are enmeshed and neither bat an eyelid… XIV carries the old guy about half the length of the pool before they slide apart…
I’m plodding along in idle amusement when Mary waves to me… Mary is an old lady, maybe around 80 though hard to tell as she has the kind of cheekbones that carry a timeless elegance and she looks as though she could have been a star of the silver screen… She smiles at me like she usually does then points at XIV and says – I think he wants a lane to himself…
I smile back and say… Maybe, though to be honest. I’m just enjoying the view…
She looks at me a little quizzical, rolls her eyes and tips her head back in lilting laughter in a way that makes me imagine her saying – what on earth are you talking about you funny little thing?
We head our separate ways and as I turn at the shallow end, I see Mary hanging at the deep end, turned sideways and glancing up… I follow her gaze up and there is the Temperance Angel in all his glory, standing in a way that brings back all of the Latin names I learnt years ago in anatomy… Lattisimus Dorsi… Serratus Anterior… Karen! Stop staring! You look like a perv! So I turn my gaze back to Mary and she has no qualms about staring at this guy and her eyes have a glimmer and sparkle and across her lips there’s the anticipating poise of a woman who looks like she’s ready to sink her teeth into a bloody as hell steak and let its juices run down her chin… I guess lust has no sense of age… or maybe it has a keen sense of smell for mortality and is always looking for one last bite…I used to think that swimming was boring but these days it’s never dull…

OK! Now I’m smiling as my mind reads and edits down… Mortality… Temperance angel… Lusty Mary transposed to devilish appetites… 13…14…15…

OK, maybe not random birds… But biting angels… Hmmm nom nom nom… Maybe some deaths are worth going to hell for… I can think of worse ways to go than petite mort turned grand exit…

27 thoughts on “Missing Swimming

  1. Nice day at the pool, immersed in the decadent luxury of awareness, sensual and lusty, and realizing your irony-coy-80-year-old just put you off the path as she then sparkling-eyes drank him in all to herself. Too funny. Great Songs of Experience here… as always! Full-on resonate with your up-front bent… especially these days after coming back After 5 years and having not a single inkling anymore as to the the Latin & Greek footnotes I should attribute in to anything in my work.

    Guess they drowned. Temperance’ll do that in its interrogating tensions of the magical mixing of its alchemy with Justice unseen as its hidden hand weighing rhythmic values. I thank it for that. I thank you for The Pool!


    1. Leave the footnotes to the chiropodists.
      Immersed in decadent luxury of awareness… That’s croupier’s eyes trained to watch the whole room whilst looking as though you’re not paying attention to anything, combined with breaking the boredom of graveyard shifts by inventing stories and imaginings of punter’s lives… Now I’m just stuck with joggers and guessing what’s on their ipods by watching how they move, though that’s quite a good game, especially now I’ve hooked in a few others… And quite hilarious when we passed an old guy lumbering up hill the other week and all of us erupted in unison into opening bars of Eye of the Tiger 🤣
      You’re welcome! And thanks! 🏊‍♂️

      Liked by 1 person

      1. “That’s croupier’s eyes trained to watch the whole room whilst looking as though you’re not paying attention to anything”

        Interesting, also sounds like a Black Belt Instructor’s eyes… mine. Radar is a wonderfully trained gig. Multiple ways to get there… simply important that one does,

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Croupier. Black Belt. Architect. Dare I say… Artist and Tarot reader and Astrologer? YES, I don’t dare. I do. I feel the Croupier’s training is more direct to this, though. In all the others I have had to arrive at the “training” myself going the long way ‘round. The “house not wanting to lose money” points the concept up front, and enforces it, which does a service to amplifying an awareness… of the crooks, too, as even THEY try harder. 🙂 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Lol Croupier’s training is day one, first thing they tell you ‘Trust no one! Either side of the table. If they’re in the building, watch them!’. The rest you either ad lib or leave. Most leave within the first week of hitting the tables… You get a long service award for hitting 5 years. I found it an easy environment to work in after previously working biker’s bars, which also felt pretty easy compared to dysfunctional home environment… Rubbish parents teaches you to quickly spot tics and tells and as a kid, get out of the way before things kick off… As an adult, let’s nip that fucker in the bud before I have to wade in and defuse things. My methods of defusion were not by the book and I still get old croupiers congratulating me on the day I managed to sprawl a very big and very nasty punter by accidentally on purpose cuffing him with my elbow as I cleared the layout… I think I caught him in the diaphragm… I mostly remember my inspector mouth wide open in shock before hissing at me – I said sort him discreetly… He was flat on his back on the table behind him…
        Sorting discreetly is usually spiking someone’s foot with your stiletto heel when they cross the ropes… I don’t wear heels… I have elbows and good timing! 🤣

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Excellent. Sounds like my martial arts and architecture and tarot and astrology… and I’ll say it… Pyschology.

        444 people started my freshman year in Architecture. 187 were there 1st day 2nd year. We graduated 26 in my Class, only 23 of whom were from my frost class.

        After all MY experiences Croupier’ training seems FAR more effective in real time.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. ‘I was not happy to have offed it but I didn’t feel too guilty as if the bird couldn’t tell the difference between another bird and a hulking great metal monster then I reasoned it deserved the Darwin Award and I was unwittingly being of service in the task of clearing out the shallow end of the gene pool.’
    You have made me feel I have done the gene pool a favor re every windscreen kill the wipers have ever flicked sideways .. Once again EPIC. .

    Liked by 1 person

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