I've been sitting in the whirlpool after my swim for a couple of weeks now, to aim the jet on my upper arm to ease a little stiffness. So yesterday morning a strange man - not strange, but unfamiliar to me - was sitting in the pool yawning. He apologized, saying he had just awakened. (No, he didn't say that; he said, "I just woke up." We must talk about wake and awake some time.)
So I asked him if he sleeps on his back or on his side. On his side. I said I had just read an item in the New York Times that people who sleep on their backs wake up faster and more alert. People who sleep in the fetal position take longer to uncurl and come to. I said I used to sleep on my side but years ago I read an article in Cosmopolitan magazine that told me if I slept on my back all the wrinkles would fall off my face to either side during the night and I'd look younger longer. He wanted to know how I did that, made myself sleep on my back. I told him I trained myself. I don't have any test comparison, no clone who continued to sleep on her side, aging all the while, as I slept on, wrinkle-free. ( Not quite.) We were joined in the whirlpool by a sister swimmer who swims at almost the same time as I do. I see her if I sleep in for ten minutes or if she goes earlier than is her wont. (I had trouble convincing Spelchek or Predict-a-text that I meant wont and not won't..) So we are friends. I explained what we were talking about. She sleeps on her side because she has a back problem, but her husband sleeps on his stomach so he won't snore. I don't think I snore but it doesn't matter because I sleep alone so I'm not disturbing anyone. (We all know about sleep apnea, don't we?)
We kept on chatting, an interesting conversation at 6:30 in the morning, discussing ideas one doesn't normally encounter during the day, certainly not in the subway. I have often called my swimming wet meditation but this spa exploration was different, a sharing of three minds in an exposed, open situation. A symposium spa. Nice.