Our Beloved Optimist

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Most mornings I drearily hoist myself out of the Optimist Park pool after swimming, head to the locker room, shower, and try to get dibs on the "big" aka handicapped stall. Each day after I claim my stall, or one that is about as wide as Stewie's head in Family Guy, I try to remember to look up. Tired from waking before the rooster crows, exhausted from swimming so much I am surprised my gills have not come in yet and not prepared for another day of high-school humiliation and lunch in the library, I strive to find even a fleeting glimpse of security in an ever-changing lifestyle. Beyond the confines of the plastic, or whatever material makes up those cold, hard-as-steel fences between stalls, the locks protecting my nakedness and the slimy, wet floor, there is a sky that is always blue.

Little do people know, the locker room ceiling of Optimist contains a hope that no one or nothing else can produce. I glance up to see the cotton-candy blue roofing and take a deep breath, reminded of the life and breath that no family strains or school stresses can rob from me. Occasionally, I wonder about the builder of Our Beloved Optimist. Did he know, as he ordered his men to place in the ceiling joists and the panels, that he would give hope to a deranged, high-school dreading adolescent? I stare up at the ceiling once more before continuing getting dressed, thinking about the person who had the light sapphire panels added. I ponder that maybe, maybe, they as well looked at the soft indigo paneling, their spirits being lifted each second their gaze lingered on that dusty-blue sky.





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