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Picture of the Day

October 3, 2016


                      view of indoor swimming pool at Olive 8 in
Took a much belated day off and headed to this spa, where we spent a day once before. It's $40 for a day pass but I stretched out my stay till the rate was just $5/hour. I packed a lot of stuff there--notebooks, drafts of stories, my laptop and its bulky AC adapter, all of it weighing down my shoulder bag. Too big to fit in locker I kept it by my side, stupidly thinking I should be doing something productive, like catching up on unfinished stories. But I ignored its precious contents in favor of reading Galápagos for the nth time, cover to cover in one sitting. Line for line, I can't think of a stronger writer than Vonnegut. He packs so much wit, metaphysics, and plot into intricately assembled stories that entertain on the surface yet also resound deeply in one's conscience. Wow. It was nice to read about humans eventually evolving into simpleminded seal-like creatures while in between chapters slipping into the heated saltwater pool. Being underwater put me in mind of Hamoa, but unlike Maui there was the hum of machinery here, the pump whirring like the whine of boat motors when you put your head under in Lake Washington. City living is by clock and calendar and you can't hope to escape it at a highrise downtown. And like people who die from disuse shortly after they retire, I actually felt worse at the end of the day than I do after work. Probably just dehydrated (oddly, no convenient water fountain in this joint), plus I lugged that load of extraneous matter home, uphill all the way in the wrong shoes for the duty, so when I hit the hay it was with headache and hurting hips. Woe is fucking me, I know, what a delightful first-world problem to have. But my takeaway from all this is if you want to get away from it all, don't pack some of it in a bag. And don't take a day off. Your body might not know what to do with it.