Friday, September 21, 2012

still-sound 107. Swimming pool

There is still a little water in my ears.  I like to swim on Friday evenings because my local pool in Echo Park designates that slot as adults only.  I try to avoid swimming when there are many kids.  Their movements are erratic.  I've often found my swim interrupted mid-lap by children floating across the lane.  Like debris. 

Tonight at lap 40 or so, I heard music when my head came up for air.  A water aerobics class was being conducted at the far corner of the pool.  When I returned underwater I heard nothing except the muted ears-underwater sound.  I had to end my swim prematurely by ten laps because a trio of women entered my lane and proceeded to waterjog.  They jogged across my path in slow motion.  Quite like debris.

In the locker room a guy was walking around wearing black boxer shorts with comic book letters stating across his back side, "The women love me".  Next to the red, bubbly lettering stood Snoopy with his head turned up to receive adoration.  I love Snoopy.

David Hockney, Green Pool with Diving Board and Shadow, 1978

I share David Hockney's love of swimming pools.  They offer an exhilarating freedom.  Like Los Angeles itself.  Rob is moving into a West Hollywood apartment with a swimming pool in the central courtyard.  The scene matches a foreigner's expectation of what LA-living must be like.  I hope that after dark, a shape-shifting phosphorescence enters his living room through the wall of plate glass windows and illuminates his Los Angeles nights. 


  1. Everything you said about swimming pools is true, Steven. They’re awesome! They’re not just great for partying or hanging out with friends, but also for spending some quality time with yourself. The underwater sound is the still-sound you meant, right? Hmm, you’re actually right about that because, when you’re underwater, you can’t hear anything but the tranquility of the pool water.

    Cathy Newman

    1. Exactly Cathy. I think our senses are more heightened when we swim. Sometimes when I come up for air I can smell cigarette smoke even when the smoker is very far away. It's a funny contrast between muffled and heightened sensitivity.