Wednesday, July 09, 2008

the head swims: acocella and kinsley

In the real heat of summer, the kind we have now, this caught my fancy,

At first, I thought I was alone in the pool. It was a sparkling blue gem, implausibly planted in the skyscraper canyon of downtown Los Angeles, as if David Hockney, heading toward Beverly Hills, had taken the wrong exit on the I-10 freeway. This fine pool was the consolation and only charm of the Soviet-style complex where I had rented an apartment so that I could walk to work at the Los Angeles Times. It was early, not even 6 A.M. I had finished my laps and was enjoying the emptiness of the pool, the faint sounds of downtown gearing up for the day, and the drama of the looming office towers . . .

Then what I had thought was a ripple in the water turned out to be—no, not a shark . . . It was a tiny old man in a tiny black bathing suit. He was slowly, slowly completing a lap in the next lane. When, finally, he reached the side where I was resting and watching, he came up for air. He saw me, beamed, and said, “I’m ninety years old.” It was clearly a boast, not a lament . . .

The rest is here, "Reflections, Mine is Longer than Yours, The Last Boomer Game" by Michael Kinsley, in the old April 7 issue. It is best described as cynical.

I recently had a similar experience when an elderly swimmer told me that, although today he felt slow, "On Wednesday, I felt like Johnny Weissmuller."

Also very cool, Acocella's recent preview of Mark Morris "Romeo and Juliet." How is Christian Science relevant? Well, you'll have to find a paper copy of the July 7&14 issue and read it to find out.


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