Swimming Pool Stories
It’s no secret that I love swimming outdoors and this summer, Sunnyside Pool has my heart. I’ve spent countless hours sitting on its edge, or inside its bright blue, swimming away. I’m endlessly inspired by the strange world of public pools – the strange bathing costumes, jaw-dropping tattoos, often hilarious interactions, and the unclear lines between public and private. And so I’ve been sitting on the deck, dripping chlorine water onto my book, writing all summer long.
I’m not entirely sure what this collection is yet, but it’s something this series of short, short stories. Microfiction. And a few poems thrown in for good measure.
The first of the Swimming Pool Stories:
Friday July 27, 2012, 3:30pm
Alyssa always plugs her nose when she jumps in. I think it’s stupid. Plugging your nose is for babies and people who don’t take swimming lessons.
“Just don’t,” I tell her on the edge of the deep end, next to the empty guard chair with the rope of the ring buoy that waits in a perfect coil.
“Don’t plug your nose.”
She looks at me. “So what,” she says.
I wish I had her bathing suit – a black and white polka dotted bikini. Mom refused to let me get a bikini. “Just a two piece,” I insisted at the Zeller’s, but she said they’re the same thing and I got my cousin Karen’s suit that used to be maroon.
“Just jump in,” I say. “Like this.” And I jump, my arms spread wide and thwacking against the surface of the water – an arm belly flop.
I turn around, wiping the water form my eyes, pushing my bangs off my forehead. “See? It’s not hard,” but she turns and walks toward the shallow end.
“Alyssa.” I tread water, waiting for her to turn back. “Alyssa!”
She walks past the guy with the lion tattoo clawing up his neck.
“Alyssa, honestly!” I sound like Mom when I told her I wouldn’t wear Karen’s suit.
She slips into the shallow end, her polka dots disappearing.