The Bronze Man

Last night, my mother and I were going for a walk and I was telling her how I wanted to go swimming again and how I possibly would like to try swimming laps in our dough boy pool. She proceeded to tell me that maybe I should continue to swim laps at the community pool, because I would have to stop less and therefore, get more of a workout. And that’s how the telling of a particular story came about, an experience that I had the last time I visited the community pool to swim laps.

I arrived at the pool at approximately 2:30. There was a lifeguard in the free swimming section of the pool and he was working with two kids. It seemed that he had been hired by the children’s mother in order to figure out which swimming classes they should be enrolled in. This man was (quite literally) bronze. Very, very muscular, with a spectacular tan. His hair was shoulder length, light brown in color with hints of blonde. Age: Between 25-27. Obviously, this man had spent quite a lot of time outside. He was, quite literally, a bronze man.

At this point, the pool was fairly quiet. It was me, a middle aged man, the two kids, and the bronze man. I got in the (heated) water and started to swim. (I would like to mention at this point that when I go to swim laps, I do three kinds: the crawl, the breaststroke, and the side stroke. I do not even attempt the backstroke as every time I have in the past, I end up going in a crooked line, splashing water into my mouth, choking, having to stop, etc. I find it very embarrassing.)

As time went on, the kids finished up and left with their mother. A few minutes later, my middle-aged swimming buddy on the other side of the lanes got out as well. It was just me… and the bronze man… sitting in his tall lifeguard chair, watching me swim back and forth, back and forth for a whole fifteen minutes.

It was terrible. I was really self-conscious the whole time. I shouldn’t have been. I realize that he’s just doing his job by making sure that I don’t drown. I just happen to be self-conscious when I swim around people that I don’t know.

I haven’t been back since. It’s not because I was embarrassed (although I was at the time). I actually developed an ear problem a couple days later and then got a terrible case of bronchitis. I plan on going back, I really do. Maybe I’ll go tomorrow.

I told Tiffany (a friend of mine) the story and she was laughing so hard. It turns out that she told another friend of mine (Mollie) what happened. She goes, “I heard you have a bronze friend”. (Oh dear…) I told my mother last night on our walk. She told me today that I should blog the story. So that’s my tale of “The Bronze Man”.

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