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Friday, April 15, 2011

piscine olympique

HA! I’m in a pool, gentlemen. Water right and left. I splash, I gurgle, I spit water at my fellow bathers. Twice, thrice I spit. I do not hesitate just because they are elderly, and even when they call to the "bathmaster" (what do you call such a man?) I do not hesitate to do it again. And when the "bathmaster" shakes his finger, I do not flinch, gentlemen. And when I note the tremor in his voice, the consternation in his face, gentlemen, I spit and gurgle much the same. In their minds they are in the midst of a psychopath, but am I concerned, gentlemen? Am I worried what they will think of me? (the elderly quickly breaststroke to the pool’s edge) No, gentlemen, because I do not question such things, much as I do not question that so many miles beneath us, under the Earth's crust, is a creeping hellfire; much as I do not question that “galacticly”, so to speak, we are on the back-end of a dirtball, gentlemen, wafted about in deep space. No, gentlemen, I do not care to ponder such matters. Why? Because I’m in a goddamn pool, gentlemen, and because I came here to hit the diving boards, that's why!

Yes, of course, sometimes I adapt my attitude to circumstances. Sometimes, like the old savants of the east, I take the path of least resistance. Sometimes I choose not to confront the adversary frontally, sometimes I opt to ignore him instead, like with this so called "bathmaster”, who has disrobed – Speedo-ready – and who is now fretting on the pool’s edge as if attempting to expel from his anus a rubber plug. He may be an adversary, gentlemen, but do I hate this man? No, gentlemen, and nor should you. He is a fearful man and he should be pitied.

So when this so called "bathmaster" calls for reinforcement, what do I do, gentlemen?... Gentlemen! What do I do? I walk, gentlemen. I walk to the diving board, I mind my own goddamn business, gentlemen. I do not run, I walk calmly. But when I reach the ladder, I climb up lithely like a cat, all the way up to the top, to the elevation marked OLYMPIQUE (that's “olympic” for the unschooled gentlemen among you).

Come, come now, what did you think, that I would stop at the lower boards to “test the waters”, so to speak? No, gentlemen. And at such heights as these, gentlemen, do you see me diddling about? Do you see me clutching my toes on the edge, testing the bounce of the plank and such things, like these so called “professionals”. No, gentlemen! No, goddamn it, I plunge, gentlemen. I plunge in a kind of magnificent arc, spitting out spray-water on my way up and then twisting into a double corkscrew on my way down. Gentlemen, are you picturing this, gentlemen! And when I meet the surface of the water, gentlemen, and receive across my face and chest a Poseidon-smack as unholy as any, am I deterred, gentlemen? Do I back down, gentlemen? Do I really need to answer this question for you, gentlemen.

And so it is that I climb to the high diving board once again (on the ground, the "bathmaster" is still expelling his plug; reinforcement has arrived; the elderly are still paralytic on the water’s edge). You see, I have no esteem for so called “preparation", gentlemen. Preparation is for the fearful, like this fretting “bathmaster” – this man lives in fear, gentlemen! Do you wish to live in fear? I will answer that for you: you do not! I do not fear and I do not just proceed, I venture gentlemen! you understand, exactly as I am now, twisting my flank once more into an elegant double corkscrew. And even as I do this, gentlemen, even as I descend at great speed, I am fully aware and I am able to catch sight of the elderly man and his wife looking in horror at the "psychopath" in flight. But still I am not bothered by this, nor by the fretting "bathmaster", nor by the OVERWHELMING FORCE with which I am met on the surface of the water, and which briefly shatters my consciousness and knocks every ounce of air out of my lungs. But even then, even as I sink, gentlemen – awed by my performance and suffering perhaps a little too – my mind is already preparing to do it again.