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Hermit in the boiling pot

It turns out that normal residents of this apartment complex occasionally come out of their caves during daylight hours and socialize with other residents, or walk their dogs, or smoke, or something besides quick and furtive trips to get mail, take care of rubbish and recycling, and head to and from the car.

After meaning to for some time, I finally took a trip in the direction of the complex's small hot tub. I am happy to report that the disastrously ripped blue sports bra does its new assigned job excellently. (See, if you want a swimsuit that's not ordered from some obscure catalog or a custom job, you can either be my size or have tits the size of cantaloupes, but not both at the same time.) Now, instead of having my rack supported by a noose tied around my neck, the aforementioned sports bra provides support while the bathing suit supplies coverage and style, and the built-in bra-like-substance does none of the above.

An artist's conception of Miss Lunatic in bathing costume: Sketch of Azz, rendered in gel-pen and highlighters on the back of an envelope, of Azz wearing a bathing costume with a short skirt, sneakers, with a checked towel wrapped around her and draped over her forearms.

I had meant to go earlier in the day, even, but dawdled on my way out. Thus, I arrived ten minutes short of the posted closing time.

There were already several people there when I arrived. I did battle with the stupid lock on the glassed-in pool area until the youngish scruffy dude came up and opened it for me. As I entered, the 40-odd blonde lady declaimed something or other about her exam, and I was given the intelligence that she had just recently undergone an exam crucial to her future nursing career. There was celebration at hand. Also in the water was a youngish (25-30) other woman, with dark hair. The blonde did not know where her friend could be; her friend had gone off an hour ago for smokes. Another woman arrived, another youngish woman.

Eventually the missing friend arrived with wine and a wineglass, and shared with us all that she had been partaking of recreational substances. The future nurse wisely made her pour the wine in the wineglass into a plastic cup. A dude showed up, and the friend was all over him. The dude went back for more cigars, and soon everyone but me and the second youngish woman was smoking something.

A convivial atmosphere settled over the hot tub, despite the fact that the jets turned off at 9. They had not, after all, come to kick us out yet. The friend shared information about the dude who had attempted to strangle his girlfriend in the hot tub some days prior. A connection clicked in my head: this must have been the fellow who had been in the complex office declaring that he'd been kicked out after the "incident" in the hot tub, but it "wasn't even his fault". Evidently there had been police, and the hot tub had been closed down for the day.

This kicked off a round of storytelling. Given that I'm shy around people I don't actually know and with whom I haven't clicked (and feeling more and more like an Islander in the middle of a Mainlander party) I mostly sat there, smiled, occasionally laughed, and kicked my legs since there wasn't enough room to actually swim.

The future nurse related that she'd been at Pride, and one of the gay guys there had approached her as if he knew her! But she didn't know him! He'd said otherwise, giving her name and her dog's name, and it soon became apparent how they knew each other, even though she didn't remember him specifically. She and one of her gay friends had been wandering the Castro at some time previous, and suddenly she had had a hankering for a party. So she rounded up approximately ten random gay guys and they all repaired back to her place. A party ensued. One of the highlights of said party was where she grabbed a pair of goggles, lay down on the floor, and proceeded to do a "synchronized swimming" routine (despite the lack of water and lack of other parties to synchronize with) to "Take Me To The River". So this was how he knew her. Evidently once you have seen someone on their backs in their living room incorporating a double flip-off and "Fuck the Japanese!" (this was sports-related, as a Japanese team had just won some event or other, beating a team she'd been supporting) into a synchronized swimming routine, one does not quickly forget them. And their little dog too.

It turned out that the friend (also a blonde) was also in the medical field: a doctor, in fact! And she admired the future nurse for her ability to hang out with sick and dying people. She herself had done her time with her dying parents. Between the alcohol and the weed, she mentioned things she might not have otherwise articulated, summing up to the concept that when you've been estranged from your parents for years, you learn so much about them at the time of their death, and that it's rather fucking tragic to see old people attempting to communicate and not being listened to and brushed aside and sometimes not even physically or mentally able to relate the last things that they'd been needing to say before they died. I listened. Despite her earlier talk about never wanting to be in ob/gyn due to "the pussies", she was certainly groping in the general direction of my left breast a lot.

The stories shifted to language, and hilarious incidents of lost-in-translation. The future nurse's story stood out, again -- on a trip to Paris, she'd been meaning to say merci beaucoup, and everyone smiled so very much when she said it. Unfortunately, instead she'd been saying (and this is where my hearing + research may have not been the best) merci beaucul -- "thank you; nice ass".

All good things must come to an end, and we gathered ourselves to leave. The doctor hugged me and smooched my cheek, and got in some more almost-groping. They were planning to continue the party elsewhere; I came home to my safety, security, and internet.
Gone away, gone ahead,
Echoes roll unanswered.
Empty, open, dusty, dead.
Why have all the Weyrfolk fled?

Where have dragons gone together
Leaving weyrs to wind and weather,
Setting herdbeasts free of tether;
Gone, our safeguards, gone, but whither?

Have they flown to some new weyr
Where cruel Threads some others fear?
Are they worlds away from here?
Why, oh why the empty weyr?

-- "The Question Song", Anne McCaffrey
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