December 1, 2020:
One or two summers, we spend many days at the olympic-size outdoor pool provided by our sprawling apartment complex. I love the water, we do our best to keep clear of the elderly retirees slowly dogpaddling back-and-forth, back-and-forth. There's a Red Cross badge we can earn through a program there. You keep track of your miles. Some number of widths is a quarter mile, you mark it on a chart in the lifeguard's office. I forget now how many miles are needed: fifty or something. I earn it, fair-and-square, but the lifeguard, Dwight, accuses me of fudging my chart. Well, fuck you too. I'm banished, told to never return. Why? Don't remember. Prolly 'cos I prolly said, "Well, fuck you too" out loud. Why accuse me of cheating when he's there watching all day? I don't know.
There are other pools. We could go to the Plunge in Mission Beach, next door to Belmont Park. I'm not sure why we never do. It's not that we don't want to ride our bikes home in wet trunks: we do that frequently after snorkeling at the Caves. Maybe that fuck-you-too seems global to us, somehow.
It's interesting that all the kids boycott the pool after Dwight tosses me out. They don't have to do that. Craig will do whatever I do, so with me banished we're off instead on alternate adventures. Memory tells me, though, that all the kids refused to return. Perhaps it was protest over the injustice. This was the late 1960s, after all.
Much later, ten years ish, I'm friendly again with Dwight. I'm home from college, we wave to each other from time to time on opposite sides of the street. I don't remember ever stopping to say hello, but it does seem the cold war endeth. I never went back to that pool, though. I wonder if it's still there?
(It is. I've just checked the satellite — thanks Google! On the canyon lip, east of Cowley Way, between Waco and Calle Neil. Who owns it now? The erstwhile blocks and blocks of the Buena Vista Apartments have long been broken into condos plus much smaller apartment complexes. Craig's former apartment is now the leasing office of whatever the detritus is now called.)