Tuesday, January 06, 2009

The Serif

I'm taking my first swim at my new gym today, the Jewish Community Center right around the corner. I know you're not supposed to, but I feel like a stranger. No good reason to, but.

I swim, mostly mindless, faintly aware of the woman teaching her kid to swim; the red-shirted lifeguards - three or four or five of them, a surfeit; the purposeful, solemn swimmers in the fast lanes. A black cross on a white pennant hanging right above me on a line across the pool. For two or three stuporous laps, I swim past and take it at its face: a cross, a Christian cross. Christ crucified. Then, in the following order, I realize that:

It's actually the number "1" printed on both sides of semi-translucent plastic so that both serifs are visible at once, extending to the left and to the right, forming a cross.

They wouldn't have a pennant with Jesus Christ's cross hanging over this pool.