The setting: Capitol Hill in DC. Late November, 2010.
At 7:30 am, the local senior citizens are out in full force at the Rumsey Aquatic Center. I look around, struck by the fact that my life's essentially resolved down to a scene from the sequel to Cocoon, though I'm not even 40. Yup, we've even got a Wilford Brimley look-alike.
Some of them are wearing belts and bobbing slowly around, while others are stationary with their backs to the pool edge, an odd, unfocused-but-blissful look on their faces. I am a bit confused by their expressions. I'd be perturbed if it weren't for the fact that I can see see their hands above the water, gripping the wall on each side behind them. After a moment, I realize that they are doing a variant of hanging leg lifts, using the water for assistance. Completely G-rated, nothing to note here. Mystery solved, I return to focusing on firing my glutes as I cycle my legs.
Another guy about my age enters the pool. I glance at him, idly debating whether he looks like Steve Guttenberg, to complete my Cocoon experience. He doesn't; in fact he's utterly non-descript. He does some water exercises for about 20 minutes, then departs. Again, it's just me and them, living la vida aqua rehab.
A minute later, Jessica Tandy's twin, a sweet looking delicate woman, frantically waves me over. I oblige, moving as fast as I can given that I'm pool-running. She mutters something at me that I can't understand, and so I ask her to repeat after I remove my headphones.
"Huh?" I am nothing if not verbally expressive.
"That guy, did you see him?"
"Um yeah, I guess. What about him?" I'm very confused.
"You were checking him out?"
"Um... no." Trademark eloquence on display, here.
"You should have." She nods authoritatively. "He had GREAT guns." She beckons me close, and whispers, in a way that transmits across the entire pool...
"I'd like to do him. You should go after him. I'm sure you'd want to do him too. I can tell by the way you looked at him."
The ambient conversational noise of the pool reduces to just the slapping of tiny waves, as all denizens stare at us.
Then Wilford Brimley, to the left, gives me a gentle smile and an eye roll. I grin back at him, put my headphones on, and continue on with my work.