Monday, February 28, 2011

Monday Morning

Outside all is Monday drizzle and February dissatisfaction. Inside is peeling hands, radio jollity and books about bread. My hands are peeling because I cleaned some bits of the housing co-op we live in yesterday and didn't wear gloves. My hands look interestingly elderly, much like the time I tried to dye some hot pants (I was not wearing them at the time) and managed to get black dye all over my hands so had to soak them in bleach. They turned from black to red pretty quickly.

The radio is bordering between annoying and merry.

Ben wants to know whether or not I like rye bread.

Someone is banging and crashing around outside, but I cannot quite face the walk to the window to investigate.

Last week was half term so I didn't have to go to any of the schools I am currently doing projects in, which was a total joy. I swore to myself that I was going to Make The Most Of The Time by being extra creative and probably making some quite staggering leaps in the worlds of science and maths. As it turned out I was a bit creative and did nothing to further scientific progress whatsoever (unless the whole peeling hands thing can help somehow?).

Today, though, all is back to normal, and I must go to a school to run a drama club later on. Oh, you are thinking, that sounds lovely! How sweet! Well, yes. I am trying to feel that way about it too. (WARNING: DO NOT BLOG ABOUT WORK IT IS DANGEROUS! ABORT TRAIN OF THOUGHT NOW.)

Before that I am going to go swimming. After going swimming last week I wrote about my very mixed feelings towards it. Here, for your procrastination, are those thoughts.

*****

I just went swimming. I love it. I love sinking my head underneath the cool surface and then pushing out, chin up, to feel my hair sweeping back from my face. I love pushing off from the wall and aiming deep, with long, frog-like strokes pushing me towards the bottom until I have to come up for air. Before I started wearing goggles I never realized that swimming for exercise could be fun, but I love having open eyes in an underwater world. Watching the shimmering white webs of reflection on the bottom of the pool, stretching my arms towards them as I pull myself, suddenly light, through the blue water. Before googles I would have to swim, neck craned up, eyes squinting and ears pummeled by the echoing pool shouting and splashing. The difference is immense. I can hide in goggles. I feel in disguise, like I am shielded from normal interaction by having my eyes covered. I am a superhero of the slow lane.

I hate, totally and deeply loathe, every single moment until I get into the water. I hate queuing at the front desk. I hate the sodden, half-way between pool and outside world changing rooms with their sometimes muddy floors and the pants someone has accidentally left behind having inexplicably forgotten to put them on. I hate having to shove my stuff into a locker, something always threatens to leap out at the last minute, leaving me scrabbling on the wet tiles for a stray sock or pair of knickers. I hate that half the people are dressed and half are not. I hate the men, who appraise half-heartedly and leave me wanting to put many, many more clothes on. God, I hate walking along the side of the pool, covered only by the thinnest of purple sheen. I stare upwards and tell myself nobody cares, nobody is looking. Sometimes I see other people strutting, trotting or loping along, chatting or dreaming, and I wonder whether they too feel agonized by those transition moments.

Once I am in and my eyes are covered I am anonymous and dive through my imagination, back and forward. I watch the clock with half an eye.

Time spins and I swim, and eventually I have to get out, so I swim to the edge and cling with one hand to the steps while I adjust my swimming costume, pushing breasts under material as each one in turn tries to float helpfully to the surface. Hooking my thumbs into crucial bits of costume and tweaking, I push my chin in the air as I exit, and pretend to be rubbing my neck as I walk, covering my chest and trying to seem relaxed.

In the shower I stand facing the wall until I am finished, and walk, fake-relaxed, to my locker, around which three teenage boys have clustered. They are dressed for the outside and poised in strut-mode, confident and uproarious. I push through them, dripping and feeling horribly, painfully naked. I breathe in and pretend they aren’t there, they fall silent but do not move. I get my towel and wrap it quickly, then retrieve the rest of my things and make my way to a cubicle.

*****

So I will swim and then face the most difficult bit of my week at the moment (weirdly enough for something that seems as innocuous and adorable as a drama club - like a firebreathing puppy). Then it will all be over and I will have lived through it and the rest of my week will feel easier.

I am watching the clock in agony, knowing that soon I have to leave and then it will all nearly be happening. Time is being hugely unfair by refusing to skip past the shitty bits. Time is a bastard.

5 Comments:

Blogger Wierdo said...

I teach and I have a similar thing that is not looked forward to and it happens three times a week for the next year and 10 weeks. Not that I'm counting down or anything...

7:31 pm

 
Blogger Ellie said...

You are my hero. Brave you fighting like Delacroix's Lady Leading the People ... but instead of leading you are bashing through them ... little fuckers.

Charming as always. xx

5:27 pm

 
Blogger Miss Devylish said...

I hate that part of swimming too.. thusly why I don't do it. If thusly is a word. But either way - you are bad ass! Swimming is awesome for you. I will let you do it for me and I'll continue my cardio w/ my sweats on to make up for lack of said swims. xo

9:26 am

 
Blogger monkey typist said...

Hi, I thought I should comment since I just randomly googled you (trying to track down blogs I used to read, not in a stalker-type way..) Glad to see youre still writing

monkey

9:57 pm

 
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