yes indeed Gladyce has been at the bottom of that pool for some time now. a whole day. a whole day goes by which turns to night when the next batch of old-fogie revelers trying to regain their youth and recapture their gilded memory sign up for jazzercise or whatever old singles program. they splash away unbeknownst of their heritage or what they are leaving behind. no one notices poor old quiet Gladyce at the bottom of their private ocean there, poor gal never gets noticed, never has gotten noticed during her long span. it helps or rather hurts that she's a sound sleeper, never makes a move, a sound, a ripple. the seniors are taught to stay above the rim if you will in their flotation devices and never let their widdle feet touch the dangerous deep end.
in a break in the action, when the pool is turned off, well the lights are for lunch, and all personnel and guests are cleared, is when Gladyce saunterlies up from her slumber and glides to the surface like a fish who opens her eye, or rather keeps her eye open, realizing the miraculous gift of another breath and upturns herself again. and she walks out of the building with no security no worse for wear but wet, her dibble toes leaving a trail of drenched droplets which remain little lakes in the hardsoil forever.
Doryce: where have you been, honey!?! i was worried! call next time. telepathically if you're out.
Doryce shakes the shoulders out of Gladyce.
Doryce: i smell something on your breath. have you been...............drowning? you smell like you drowned.
Gladyce: oh no, dear, you mustn't worry so hard. your pretty little head must remain the pretty one in the group. i'm made of sterner stock. we have been fortified against such things thanks to my generations' guile.
Doryce: my LifeAlert ran out of batteries.
Gladyce: my LifeAlert just ran away.
Doryce: WHERE WAS BAMA!!?
Gladyce: no idea.
Doryce: you are such a gentle glass to me. poor darling. come in, you'll catch your death. i mean your cold.
Gladyce: been awhile since i stepped foot in the old house. stept in it. like what you've done with the place.
Doryce: this old thing? just a place to lay my weary bones. complete with cobwebs and stepmother shutters which stay open. a spiral staircase which leads to a clean attic and a large ancient oil painting instead of a roof. that Bama is quite the brat! i'm gonna have to give him a piece of my mind next time i see him. you see i was in such a good mood when i was with him before and i am ashamed of that now. i promise you i came but not as loudly as i usually do.
Gladyce: i assumed he helped you put away your groceries?
Doryce: it is such a splendid service, isn't it? many times we elderly simply don't have the company we were afforded cos we had to work or had to go to school. where else do you meet friends?
Gladyce: you can meet dance partners all over but not true friends.
Doryce: this is why i spend $300 a pop every two weeks. the nourishment is nice but i want that ass under my rickety roof when it rains and the oil paint starts to run. Bama is always so cheerful, he was born with the helpful gene. he's not stupid, just really really happy. i love when he drives me back home, picks me up by the passenger's seat, launches me over my threshold and i get stuck lodged into my spiral staircase.
Gladyce: you have a threshold? those spiral staircases are a dangerous hazard.
Doryce: that would never happen if it's just steps. the poor dear is so concerned for my well-being he doesn't leave the refrigerator door open as he puts my food away. scared i might enter the refrigerator and close the door like i was some young woman in need of saving. i pay not for the foodstuffs but for the conversation.
Gladyce: to get stuffed! you're on a budget but you still need to eat. call it a budget bang.
Doryce: i suppose it's my own version of a one-night stand.
Gladyce: we'll call it a well-being check.
Doryce: i've been getting forgetful lately. i buy all these new shiny bottles but never use them. ain't that always the way. and it's a waste for two weeks. just this last week i tried to find the special mustard i bought but i scoured the three milks and couldn't find it. Bama needs to alphabetize. he needs to learn the alphabet. so i just gave up and used the old mustard.
Gladyce: that old squeezed-out bottle in the back of your fridge? looks like a flat penis? that thing's older than you! i saw that before i saw you!
Doryce: got the last drops. what a waste of a life. but i just don't have the will anymore. got some Campari tomatoes.
Gladyce: are you sure it wasn't a bottle of Camparie soda?
Doryce: and those little pitchers of old coffee. i read the expiration dates this time like you warned me. i used my glasses. that stuff was a week old and still on the shelf like newborn babies. what a scam. by the time we drink it it will just barely be good. all that grounds sludge will mess with our gums.
Gladyce: i don't read expiration dates. i don't want to know when i'll go.
Doryce: and green coffee.
Gladyce: that's a scam. green coffee extract is not organic, it's murderous. we don't need something which will kill us sooner. let's stop pretending we were ever hippies. we're WAY older than that.
Doryce: some of us still have a reason to lose weight.
Gladyce: or a Bama.
Doryce: he and i talked about the weirdest things. for hours. the whole time i kept looking around and up and thinking how my house smelled. it smelled of temporariness. perhaps it was his exuberant energy filling the walls. and i had a lot of free time.
Gladyce: how long was i gone?
Doryce: you were out for 30 days, dear.