Thursday, August 17, 2006

Today was the day.

I was tested for aids today.

Friday, August 11, 2006

I promise it's not contagious

Famous last words of a person who just gave you something... I promise it's not contagious.

Setting: Local YMCA Lap Pool

It's mid-to-late afternoon and I was at the YMCA after work to swim some laps. They say it works every muscle group. I don't know who they are... don't really care. So I'm swimming in my lane, minding my own lap-business, and mentally listening to tracks from Outkast's Aquemini (it's what I do).

I notice a bulbous man standing just at the end of the lane that I am swimming in. He's not in the water. No, he's standing on the concrete level, goggles on his forehead, towel and water bottle in hand. I keep going. Swimming, that is.

I get to the opposite end and pause. I have my goggles on, but I'm eyeing Bulbous Man (now a formal salutation since I know nothing else thereof) and he is still just standing. I mean - he's breathing and all - but he's just standing there, like a Peeping Tom outside the window of their prey. And at this point I'm said prey.

To the left the other lanes are full. And to the right. So I assume Bulbous Man is actually waiting - more wanting - to split a lane (mark that) so that he can get his lap on as well. From the other end of the pool I give him the point (acknowledge him), point to the pool (acknowledge the field of play), and the thumbs up (universal symbol of acceptance). He breaks his stare and bulbously nods.

Time out - when I say bulbous - I don't mean that this man is fat. Or portly even. He's just... bulbous. Like an onion. Vidalia - not red.

I go back into my laps, but upon arriving at the other end I notice that Bulbous Man has not gotten in the pool yet. So I stop. I pull my goggles down (always to the neck, never the forehead for me) and make eye contact with my perpetrator.

He speaks.
"You just wanna choose a side?"
"Yeah, I'll stay left."
"Okay. I got this thing. I promise its not contagious. I think its some sort of sinus infection."

You're kidding right? You are absolutely kidding me that only three sentences into this conversation he is raising my threat level to red? If you don't know me by name - should you include the words contagious or infection in a conversation with me? Much less get into a lap pool with me and swim next to me? Same lane?

Now - grain of salt - I could drop a gallon of Freddy Mercury's AB in that pool, take a razor blade to my epidermis and jackknife into that pool without worrying about lesions. It's that chemically altered. Seriously - I've stopped showering for the purpose of removing dirt because I basically swim in Clorox. In fact, if you want me to take your whites up there I'm going in a couple of hours. Call me.

Back to Bulbous Man. So this sinus infection... he continues:
"I don't know for sure what it is. Have you ever had one of these?"
"Yeah. I get about two a year. Normally I'm on an anti-biotic for four days and a decongestant and then I'm fine."
"I haven't gone to the doctor. But I'm draining alot. I mean alot of flem."

Now this guy's thrown a non-specific amount of flem at me (figuratively speaking).

But he's basically saying "look dude - I'm sick and I'm about to get within feet of you and we're going to be swimming laps in the same clorox filled backwash infested waters." I've been pausing for a minute or two - anxious to get back to swimming - so I try to break it off.

"Well, flem's certainly a sticky situation. Good luck."

I turn, pull my goggles up and attempt to position them.

"Yeah, see, the thing is I haven't felt 100% since last weekend. I think it was the weather change."

Weather change? It went from 106 to 99 and tough guy here thinks it made him start producing more flem. Nice logic.

Moral of the story? I don't know. But I don't feel very well... ___________________________________________________________________ And now, a recurring bit that hasn't recurred, occurred or just plain curred for that matter:

If this is new to you... it's okay. Don't be shy about it. I just want to point out and or celebrate obscurity in its finest form.

Michael C. Maronna

Maronna's acting creds include Pete and Pete, 40 Days and 40 Nights, and Slackers. He is rather brilliant in all - but the sock steals the show in Slackers.