Anyone who has ever spent some time in or near a swimming pool is probably familiar with the game Marco Polo.
Just in case you aren’t the kind of person who lounges around a pool or perhaps you are but you still haven’t the foggiest idea to what I am referring, here’s a quick explanation:
It’s basically a variation on the game of tag that takes place in the water. The person who is ‘it’ closes his or her eyes and says “Marco” while everyone else who is participating must respond with “Polo”. The ‘it’ person then tries to tag one of the other players by honing in on the sound of their voices. The call and response continues until someone gets tagged and that person is now ‘it’.
While it’s been a couple of years since I’ve been in the water (I wrote about the watsu experience here), that hasn’t stopped me from playing the at-home version several nights a week.
A typical game begins around 2 or 3 in the morning. Since I need to be repositioned and rolled onto my side, I begin grunting for help from the night nurse. Marco.
Seeing as how I just woke up and my grunting voice might be a little weak, I fire off two in a row. Marco Marco.
Silence. The night nurse is fast asleep.
I gird myself and spit out five in rapid succession. Marco x 5!
Movement from the night nurse chair. Polo.
This is the point in the game where I would like to stop playing and be rolled over from my back to my side because 1) it is uncomfortable this way and 2) the saliva in my mouth is forming a miniature pool near the back of my throat.
I wait several moments listening for any additional stirrings from the night nurse and when none are forthcoming, I begin to grunt once every three to four seconds until I run out of steam. Marco pause Marco pause Marco pause Marco pause Mar
Polo. The ottoman part of the night nurse recliner slams down to its initial spot underneath the chair.
This is where you would imagine that I’d have made the proverbial tag to the night nurse and I’d be happily laying on my side but the game is still afoot.
There is still no movement from the chair to the bed.
Marco Marco Marco Marco Marco Ma
Polo Polo Polo Polo (body repositioned)
Polo Polo Polo (rolled onto side)
Polo Polo (given suction)
zzz zzz zzz zzz zzz