I’m a good swimmer. Not the fastest one, but my form is excellent. I waste little motion. My body stays on a steady forward trajectory, I stretch all my moving parts, and there is little splashing. One day a man who was toweling himself off at the side of the pool remarked, “Very graceful,” as I came up the steps.
I went swimming today, finished my laps at a faster pace than usual. I loved the silence and stealth of swimming four lanes underwater to get out.
I threw my towel over my shoulders, took my bag and left the pool area, walking out of the large pool space, along the end of the small pool, turning right to walk along the glass separating the small pool from the visitors’ gallery. As I walked, barefoot, I heard steps behind me which seemed a little close. I didn’t want to turn around. Nothing was going to happen to me in this public area and the women’s locker room was a half a minute away. But as I turned the corner toward the locker room I glanced backward to see who it was.
It was a young, heavyset black boy. Maybe about 16 years old. He said something I didn’t understand, and I stopped and asked, “What did you say?”
“Did you have a nice swim?”
“Oh yes. I always do.”
“You got your goes wet, huh?”
“I got all of me wet. It was great.”
He mumbled something else. He was wearing bright sneakers, white socks, and red baggy shorts almost down to his knees, with a white shirt in a bold flower print in the same bright red. He was leaning against the rail in front of the seats where parents sit and watch their children swim, but there was nobody there at the moment.
“What did you say?” I asked, smiling politely.
“After you come out you want a butt massage?”
I smiled at him and laughed slightly. He laughed too. “Give me a break,” I said and turned to walk the five steps to the door to the women’s locker room.
He looked after me smiling, as I saw when I turned and gave him one last glance.
What was that all about? I am a 64 year old woman. And what is a butt massage? I know what a butt is, and I know what a massage is, but what is a butt massage?
I did not feel for one second endangered, maybe even complimented.