I never find it especially easy playing by the rules. In any case, I have always assumed life is meant to be fun.
I turned up at the pool very early on Saturday, found the main door open, so went in and changed. I forgot my purse, but then, I am on a membership, so no cash would be changing hands, and I figured I would clear it with them afterwards. I’ve done that before. There was no-one at the desk. I went in anyway, surprised it was so quiet, and then, as I was starting a second length, a guy came and told me I should not be in the pool.
The supervisor then kneeled to tell me he was really upset and angry, and confessed he could lose his job over it. He could not hear my side of the story, but had to leave, to get over his upset. All of which …… really devastated me. I still don’t know what to think. Is it likely, that a small thing like being in the pool ten minutes early could lose another person his job? Or was my tearful, fearful reaction merely a symptom of my disconnect from normal life: the usual back and forth of frightened employees, banter, words spoken in rixa that other people would simply shrug off? Perhaps working alone, I am less able than I used to be to take such statements as they come and bat them away. They sink in….
The door wasn’t closed, the desk was not barred, the pool was not switched off….none of the usual STOP signals were in place to jog my realization that actually, I was not supposed to be there until eight thirty.
We are all becoming tired of negotiating rules, regulations and restrictions that are enforced, but not all the time; some people are stricter, and more deeply upset, by perceived contraventions, but, though I may be careless, I am not malicious. Other people leap and splash over my head, wondering, what is her problem….? I just wish I could get warm, be somewhere easy to be….to be peaceful. I am sorry for the harm I cause, though perhaps that kind of comment reawakens feelings in me that go much deeper, back to a time when I felt useless, in the way, and frankly, unwanted. No wonder I was upset, then.
I am surprised. I thought I had grown through all that. But clearly, place me in a swimming costume, in a pool, and have someone say something sharp, and I go back to being small, vulnerable, and unhappy. Surprising, that.
Thank you – so much! – for reading.