Roysplainin’—pooL (part 2)


We’re picking up from part 1—from where I ended facetiously… The same content warnings apply (i.e. violence, mental health, probably don’t eat while reading). Let’s get back to that one time I went to free swim:

Naturally, (perfect) practice makes perfect. Forced by my situation, I’d mastered the crucial life skill of metaphorically “alt+tabbing” (i.e. smoothly transitioning from entertainment to looking busy in the face of authority). Despite all that practice, sneaking away for free swim presented many more obstacles—so many more that dissecting how miserably it would’ve failed amuses me; perhaps it’ll amuse you too:

  1. I’d have to sneak past Amma to leave the apartment. This was close-to-impossible given her approach to privacy: “Only people who have something to hide need privacy.” taps temple smugly. NOTE: She was also a homemaker... This meant that she practically had an eye on me 24/7... Reflecting on that infuriates me—I need to take a walk, and calm the f*** down...
  2. Okay, back… Next, I’d need to get to the elevators without running into any of our neighbours. If they spotted me, they’d definitely snitch on me—so it wasn’t like I’d only need to sneak past Amma; I’d need to evade her social network too… Does this sound impossible yet?
  3. I’d then need to wait for an elevator; that itself would’ve taken at least 10 min. (on average—I’m being optimistic here). It’s not like there was only one elevator. There were usually three operating—out of a total five—yet there was never one available on short notice. This stemmed from how they (usually) stopped on each floor, since people would press the button, get frustrated at how long they had to wait for the elevator, and leave. Given how there were more than 20 floors in our building (somewhere in between 22–28; I can’t recall specifically how many—right now), and given how we lived on the 8th floor, that’s a lot of waiting… You might say “wait, you lived on the 8th floor! Why didn’t you just take the stairs?!” You need to understand stairwell politics: the stairwell functioned like a separate entity (from the rest of the building)… It had its own atmosphere. That atmosphere smelled of urine… Why? Well, people—non-residents of the building—pissed there an awful lot… The stairs were perfect for loitering. They were also a place of business (i.e. where people dealt), a place of temporary residence—for those inebriated, or homeless. In both cases, the stairs were where few (if any) respected humane standards of hygiene. Apparently, it’s easier to just use a floor and then move down one, than respect people’s living space… The stairs were never the answer; I needed to take the elevator…

Did residents avoid the stairs because others loitered there or did others loiter there because residents avoided them?

anonymous apartment building philosopher
  1. Once an elevator arrived, I’d need to squeeze onto it; those things were always packed… Notice how I emphasized “an.” Though it wasn’t the norm, there were still too many times when the first one was too packed to board; in that case, I’d hope the next one had enough room…
  2. Once you’d finally entered the elevator, I’d pray that the elevator reached the ground floor without stopping on any other floor, or at least without getting stuck. Turns out, people needed to squeeze on because the elevators were packed, which meant that they already exceeded maximum capacity.

    Well, sometimes it was because the doors just decided not to open all the way, but that wasn’t normal enough (if you can call any of this normal…) to expect; I wonder if that would’ve changed if I’d tacked that onto the prayer…

    I’m not going to get into how people solved that problem; the important thing is that getting to the ground floor was a significant part of one’s “commute”… I imagine it’s what those baby sea turtles go through—you know, the ones on the discovery channel. They hatch, and then book it into the water. Hopefully, nothing gets in the way…
  3. Once on the ground floor, I’d need to continue avoiding people’s gazes. The extent of Amma’s social network was truly terrifying…
  4. After all that, I’d need to bus down to the community centre, have fun (which is hard when you dread returning home), commute back, and hope to sneak back in. Remember, I still needed to evade snitches… Even if I’d accomplished all that, Amma would’ve sniffed things out; she was… possesive… In this case, the smell of chlorine would also give things away…

To be continued…

Thank you for your time,
Roybert S. Henanigans

P.S. 96: I’ve updated my Contact Me page explaining how you can help me if you choose to. This includes a messaging form, my gmail address, my Twitter account, and a donation button to my Ko-Fi page. I’ll update specifics gradually. If there’s one thing I could ask for above all else, I’d ask for two—then I’d use one of those two to say that the best way to help is to share my work with someone.

On a serious note, thank you so much for reading—it truly means the world to me!


Published by justcallmeroybert

One thought on “Roysplainin’—pooL (part 2)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: