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Like how an alligator sits in the water

July 21, 2009

Its so hot, like Africa hot, as it is in Baltimore every summer with 98 degrees f* and 98% humidity. My grandfather knows a couple who have an above ground pool and its a hot June and we get our suits and go over. Miss Helen’s basement is the swingingest place I have ever seen. She has a pink princess phone, black canvas butterfly chairs sitting on a black and white tiled floor, gold and pink wraparound sofa with pillows with tall black cats and skinny black poodles on them, lamps shaped like flamenco dancers in long black dresses with shades painted with bulls and matadors plus a huge black upright piano with a gleaming white leather stool. It was the most magical place I have ever seen and can’t believe people live here and its not a movie set.

I change in the powder room and we go out to the pool, my Poppy and me. The water is still pretty cold and its over cast which does not ease up the heat index at all but seems to seal the heat and oppression in on top of us. There is a special towel rack for our towels and my Poppy hangs up us terry cloth burnt orange cabana shirt that matches his swim trunks with his towel. I know my grandparents go on lots of vacations and I picture him wearing this swanky outfit, fishing and drinking beer and laughing.

My grandfather smiles at me and listens patiently as I yell over and over “Poppy, look, look at me, Poppy, watch me, watch me..” He smiles and tries to swim laps. He shows me how to put my face in, turn it to the side to take a breath as our arms reach high over our heads.

I close my eyes and sink into the water up above  my head and I can see my Poppy swimming, so strong across the pool back and forth. I pretend I am a mermaid who can’t break the surface, I watch my long brown hair fan out around my face and let bubbles out slowly trying to stay under as long as I can.

Breathless I pop up and my Poppy is resting on the side and then shows me how to cup my hands and make the water squirt in huge arches as he whistles his favorite song. My Poppy is so magical and he loves me so much and my heart fills with admiration and devotion to the man, the only man who is really there for me.

My first love.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. July 22, 2009 5:36 pm

    Ah. That’s just beautiful cole. I love the arches he makes with water and cupped hands.

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