What is the pool like last night? Warm in the beginning. The best part about indulging into swimming in the dark is the darkness itself. And to make matters brighter, or sadder – if that is how you wanna consider it – I have successfully made a few friends.
It took me a while to understand what swimming at Nine P.M. actually feels like. Relieving and liberating, in my opinion. From the age of five, I have pretty much been swimming, until I quit…and then joined again. What can I say? My relationship with the swimming pool – it’s complicated.
Now the friends I have made over at the pool are the most chilled out fellows that I’ve come across. And these guys are simply not ‘chilled’ because of the weather. (Side note: I’d love to make friend’s with the women there, but all of ’em are in a different pool altogether, as much as I’d like to change that.)
The air is cold, except for a few floodlights, everything beyond is dark. Although the air is reeking of chlorine, you can smell the burning firewood rising from the back. You are cold, light sparks of shivers intermittently running down your spine. All of this at the end of your day, swimming being a mere excuse for a pre-bed time exercise. Sounds crazy. You could be partying or studying or working on a new working-module for your company. Or you could be hanging out…or should I say – floating in? Besides, crazy is good.
For the first couple of ten-minutes everyone is seriously indulged in the act of waddling about in the pool, crisscrossing between the beginners, the learners and a few professionals. After that? Almost everybody engages into conversations.
I think that the unconventionality of this itself is the most amusing part of my evening. Keep your coffee houses aside, the folks at the pool don’t need a cozy couch or a drink in their hand. Most of us talk, about things that bother us, or issues that nobody bothers about too much. Food, relationships, educations, I suppose, most general ‘guy-talk’ topic has been witnessed by the night. New jobs are celebrated, old girlfriends are fussed about, new destinations to visit are considered, all in a matter of twenty-thirty minutes. Almost like a unique business destination.
It is fascinating. Most of them have very little connection outside the pool. Every evening is like a taxi-ride. We enter the cab and find ourselves next to somebody, perhaps even a complete stranger, enjoy the company of that person, and step off when our destination has arrived. And witnessing all of this from a third person’s view (apart from being entirely stupid to not indulge in it), is cathartic.