Saturday, June 22, 2013

Poolside Drama

This afternoon I took Grace and Hannah to the pool. We set up our towels under the trees and then I spent some time in the kiddie pool area with Hannah while Grace tried to locate some of her friends that were supposed to also be at the pool today. (She found two of them, but there was some sort of drama--not unusual for these kids--and she didn't end up playing with them at all. And even though that was, probably, the main motivational reason for her to even go to the pool today . . . well, she's almost ten. That's how things are at this age, I guess.)

Anyway, the point of all of this is to describe something that happened LATER during a different part of the pool visit. This time the three of us were at the lap pool, throwing the water ball. When we first got there, as I was scanning the crowd, I saw lots of people, kids, couples. But as time went on, I overheard the nearby conversation of a couple that seemed to be in the middle of a breakup. I thought that I heard the guy says something along the lines of "This just isn't going to work out." (Actually, he said something else more distinct, or what he said most likely would not have caught my ear, but I was waist deep in pool water and not near to a pad and pen, so my memory is faulty.)

But I knew that something unfortunate was going down, so I kept looking back in their direction as I also played with Hannah and Grace. The couple kept talking for several more minutes, but it was clear that the guy was doing all of the explanations--and the breaking up, I presume--while the girl was just standing there listening. And all the while, the frustrated novelist in me was thinking . . . I wish I could get down all this dialogue. This would be a great scene in a YA novel. And simultaneous to these thoughts, I was also thinking Why would you break up with someone at the POOL?!!!

And as time passed, the breakup continued. And the discussion continued. And she just kept standing there and I would not be obvious about my eavesdropping because, well, its none of my business anyway. But they were close by and I was sort of intrigued by the situation.

I turned my head away for a while to talk and play and when I turned back, he was still in the pool but she had walked somewhere else. I lost track of her for a while but then located her in the crowd, outside the pool. She looked upset, which sort of confirmed my suspicion that a breakup was underway. He kept his back turned to her direction all the time, only turning to look when she was somewhere else. And then I lost her again for a good several minutes and wondered where she was. And then I just gave up and played with the kids more, throwing the ball, talking, keeping up with the pool noodles . . .

And then I found here again, right near us, sitting on the bleachers and staring in his direction, shading her eyes from the sun. I still wasn't absolutely sure that a breakup was going on, since I hadn't really heard his conversation. But they were clearly separated from each other and no longer interacting. And he continued to keep his back to her no matter what side of the pool she was on. I didn't see any crying, just the lingering of two people adjusting to what was happening--albeit in a weirdly public place.

I lost her again after that, once again playing with the kids. I don't know where she went this time but he kept in the pool, just sort of wandering back and forth, staying cool on a hot day. Several times he wandered very near me, as I went after an errantly-thrown ball or whatever. I was tempted to say something to him (as I really had been tempted to say something to her when she was sitting nearby on the bleachers), but I decided I had no real business injecting myself into their own problems. But he did look a bit lost.

And then it was over. We had to get out of the pool for rest periods and I just sort of forgot about the things that wasn't my business and might not have even been the thing I imagined it to be.

But as the day went on, I thought about it more. The most perplexing bit was why at the POOL?! That really flummoxed me. Didn't they come to the pool together at the start of the afternoon? How would he or she get home, if they were no longer a couple? It just really seemed ill-advised.

And then I had to just let it all go. I had lunch to eat, rest periods to negotiate, and my own kids friends-based drama to attend to. I couldn't continue imaging the lives of others any more than I already had. I hope things worked out for those two. I really hope that the girl was okay, as I never got the sense that she was participating at all in all of the events I supposed were happening. She was just being confronted by whatever he had been saying all of that time . . . at the POOL?!

(Seriously, dude. What were you THINKING?)

CODA--Turns out, as we were gathering our stuff to leave the pool a few hours later, we walked past the two of them. They were walking out, still not really talking to each other, but at least reunited in some fashion. (Though probably only, as I feared, to get home in the single car they arrived at the pool in.) They didn't look happy.

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