Flash forward 29 years. I was invited to Miami's local gay swim team; the Nadadores. Better known as the "nads" (as in gonads, as if I had to explain it to you). Anyway I decided to "take the plunge". I've recently lost weight so I felt confident in my ability to wear a pair of Speedos. Besides, being gay means you HAVE to wear them or you're not "officially gay." The "erectile disfunction" I suffered at age eleven has gone from one extreme to the other so now I can just relax and focus on my swimming and not worry about what happens...down there.
I get to the pool and jump in. Not completely familiar with the routine I ask a few questions. I am not familiar with an 800IM or a 300free or a 100fly. I just kind of follow the swimmers and hope I do as many laps as they do. Swimming was fun. I'm swimming right along and keeping up, more or less, with the other two guys I'm sharing the lane with. I was really getting into the sensory deprivation of swimming, limited sight and hearing but being totally aware of your body and its suspension in water. I was in some cases swimming faster than other people in the pool.
I would ask questions like "how many times across the pool is 300? Is it six?" "Is it three?" As I grew more exhausted from all these laps, my ability to multiply was rapidly diminishing. I also noticed that the other swimmers were getting tired of doing my multiplication for me. After about 50 minutes of continuous laps I lost my ability to do any type of multiplication whatsoever. Finally the guy next to me said the other swimmer in my lane:
"Bonito pero bruto." Which translates roughly to: "cute, but total, complete, moron."
You know, I really love Miami. Speaking Spanish and Portuguese and being bicultural allows me to fully experience this city in a way someone who is not bilingual can't. Not being bilingual in Miami is like missing a sense, or limb. In Miami I am the epitome of a white boy. People assume I don't speak Spanish. "Bonito pero bruto" reverberted in my head after every stroke.
As a gay man, its hard not feel ambivalent about a remark like that. I mean in gay culture, cute trumps smarts every time. Plus, I was really fucking tired from all the swimming. Of course my concentration was shot. There was no way I could multiply now. If I swam any more, "bruto"would far exceed any "bonito". I got out of the pool, convinced that my second attempt to join a swim team in 40 years was a disaster. I went to the locker room and changed. Two hot guys asked for my number.
The next practice is on Thursday. I better get some multiplication flash cards and a speedo.
Swim silly gay fish
hot freestyle in tight speedos
The water is so nice