There's no "P" in our ool

I've often thought of insane asylums as a perfect place to get a lot of work done. People come to feed you and give you pencils. Prison has the same appeal and without the crazy genius stigma that Van Gogh and Fight Club stuck us with. Jean Genet wrote Our Lady of the Flowers in prison on paper bags and when they were confiscated he started over. As inspiring as these places may be I think I've found one that incorporates characteristics of both and then some.

For a long time now I've found public swimming pools to be among the most inspiring places in God's good green globe. It's just got everything. It must have something to do with the ability or the strange atmosphere of invisibility that happens at a swimming pool. I was there yesterday just sitting in a chair with sunglasses on and this little girl was standing exactly 2 and 3/16 inches from my crossed legs, facing me, but looking over my shoulder at instructions her mother was hollering at her despite their relatively close proximity. I wondered if I was really there myself so I found a penny on the ground and moved it up the locker room door, but nothing happened. I was just smashing Lincoln's big nose around some unwashed turquoise door.

I've been in this position myself. As soon as you jump into the pool and you start floating around, it seems that no one is watching you. Burroughs (rarely will I include first names. I think of it as a compliment) used to walk around practicing a technique of invisibility. He felt that if you saw everyone before they had a chance to see you that you would in a sense become invisible. I loved that book Adding Machine. That had a bunch of good thoughts about writing. Like how a good title can sell a crappy book and a crappy title will ruin a good book. I think Sling Blade is a good example of a bad title but a great movie whereas Reading Lolita in Tehran is an amazing title but, ughh, the blue sky, freaking bad.

If you have a Public pool nearby and you have a good pair of sunglasses, go check it out. When children are being cute smile, count how many times the life guards say "walk," ponder better swimming pool safety ideologies, and wonder how often the lifeguards lose focus at the same time. Skip the jails and the writer getaways and make a trip to the local pool. It's fascinating.