The Pool

In an attempt to commit to the blogging thing (as a means of keeping the writing muscles limber) I’ve decided to attempt one of the Daily Post’s Weekly Challenges ( ) … So here it is:


I arrive at the pool.

She lies stretched out like an offering on a white deckchair in the blazing sun – her blacked-out eyes,  long black hair, arms at her sides like something yet to be taken out of the box. Her olive skin is glistening. I wonder what sunblock she uses, what the SPF is. I wonder what SPF means and how many poor bastards had to sizzle to a crisp for them to figure out just the right formula. Or how many translucent pale bodies were driven mad in ghostly frustration before they realized that the formula was too much, that they were better off  using it as a cake frosting.

The pool is a mesmeric blue. My thoughts on sunscreen are thrust aside once again by how she lies there now, her body more like a lean meat cooking, a sleek sausage in a skillet. She has that slight glisten of bacon grease or maybe syrup. Syrup can be sexy. She looks covered in syrup. She is a syrup covered flapjack from one of those upper-scale breakfast houses…

I realize I haven’t had breakfast yet.

I take off my shirt and feel the grumble in my belly. It’s the price one pays,  I think, lowering myself all fish-belly pale into the cold blue. If I ate I’d have to wait two hours to swim. Those were the rules. Universal rules Moses brought down from The Mountain (where he must have swam in God’s Malibu villa) and then handed down from parent to parent, like how a crumb before dinner would spoil your appetite or how masturbation would send you blind.

I silently thank the Lord now for the tip – because nothing would be more embarrassing than cramping up here, sinking below these crystal chlorinated ripples to be found drowned in 3 feet 6 inches of water.  It just wouldn’t do. Not with a girl that beautiful sitting just a few feet away.

Stepping in, the water is so cold I feel my gravitational centre retreat. It knows better. I sink in and my system goes into some kind of shock. I can’t breathe for a second, but I pretend otherwise. Who needs to breathe on a beautiful day like this; a powdery sky overhead, sunlight glinting diamonds off of the water, blazing sun lashing my scalp while I freeze from the shoulders down, feet going numb, while sweat runs along my temples into my eyes, stinging them… My neck’s fine though. My neck’s happy as a clam.

I begin a slow breast stroke back and forth. The Girl doesn’t move. Maybe her eyes do, behind those big lenses, but I can’t tell. Maybe she’s blind. It’s romantic, I think. Blind, like my love is now, something pure for a stranger who can be anyone, anyone I can imagine. Because it’s all in my mind now. My body has no part in reacting to the girl on display. My body has bigger concerns – right now my body’s thinking about hypothermia, about survival. My body knows that a girl like that is no use to you if you’re stuck in a bed, running a fever while you’ve got chill, a shivering snot-filled mess. No, brother, if that’s your plan, may as well have a hearty breakfast and let it all end at the bottom of a shallow pool.

I go back and forth a few times. The view doesn’t change much. I’m like a goldfish, “Oh look, a horizon! … Oh look, a horizon!” Then I climb out slowly, casually, the oh so subtle tug of the swimsuit crotch which is scared of the temperature change and so clings to my privates for comfort. The Girl doesn’t seem to notice. She hasn’t moved the whole time. Maybe she’s dead, I think. Someone could have just left her here, murdered, neck snapped. We won’t know until she’s overdone, starts to cook in the sun, starts to burn. If the SPF is just right maybe she’ll incinerate, just burst into flame… Not a bad way to get away with murder.

Drying off is probably the best part. I feel invigorated. I should rub myself all over with a towel more often… in public… Well it’s probably the sun that makes the difference. I enjoy the fact that I can take full breaths again. I crave a cigarette. I dolls up, fixing my hair and donning my flipflops. I look back once more at the pool and it tries to seduce me back in, “Forget how cold I am… See how I glitter in the sun? … See how I sway so gently back and forth? … I could rock you like a baby…”

I won’t fall for that again. Not today anyway. I take a last glance at the beautiful corpse. Such a tragedy. I head inside thinking about breakfast.


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