Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The Loss of Buoyancy


I was over at my parents for dinner with my girlfriend tonight.  We had teriyaki chicken, green beans, rice, and salad. 

My parents were talking about the past as they often do in their respective dementia states.  Mostly trouble getting words out for my mother, while my father has trouble remembering certain things, yet speaks with his scientific exactitude with those topics he does remember well.

At one point, the conversation drifted to the fact that my father has been going to an indoor pool recently.  He then, as if having wanted to tell me for the last six months, proclaimed with a wondrous voice that he is no longer buoyant. 

When I asked him to elaborate, he said that he simply doesn’t float like he used to.  He was once a strong swimmer.  I remember at our Malibu house that he taught me to bodysurf at the age of five or six, and he always liked doing a few laps in any pool he got into.

So his news for me tonight, that he is no longer buoyant, though surprising, is not that strange when I thought about it.  He’s much slimmer with very little body fat.  He hasn’t been swimming much for the last twenty years, and he’s, well, old. 

I told him that he’ll probably get some of his swimming chops back if he keeps at it gently and consistently.  As much as I feel for his aging and current condition, did have a chuckle to myself though because he is so scientific and almost second person observant about the things he goes through in his life.  He’s always been that way.

After that, we all moved onto our vanilla ice cream and apple pie for dessert.