Today I arrived at the pool, and as usual, the whole place to myself. Silent and still as a mirror as I slipped in. Then after 20 minutes or so another swimmer arrived, yes, in MY pool, MY space. I perceived her instantly as an intruder, yes almost an enemy.Next there are thoughts arising that maybe she is going to do this every morning and I wont have the place to myself. I hoped it was a one off and that she was a guest in the hotel and not a new regular. Its curious how these fierce primitive instincts arise.
Well I swam and swam and took my attention from the thoughts into the present, what I was feeling physically on my skin, my breath, what I could see and smell and hear….and the thoughts subsided a little. Realised that she didn’t impinge one little bit, I’m still loving this experience right now. I mused about how fickle preferences can be, and that in some life situations I could find myself in this person arriving would be the most welcome thing in the whole world. Like if I’d been stranded on a desert island starved of human company for a month I’d LOVE this person to arrive.
We coincided in the changing rooms after. She asked if this was the best time to come to the pool in the morning. Shit I thought, she is indeed a new regular. How to answer. Be honest or put her off, and protect my slot of solitude. I said between 8 and 11, that before and after it was busy. Which is true. Then she said ‘oh well I’m only here for one night anyway, staying in the hotel’. I was relieved to hear that. I wished her a good day and left.