Coffee: Maxwell House Master Blend, Office Coffee
I read a short story that took place beside a pool. It made me wish I’d gone to the pool more this summer.
I’ve got this memory of 8 or 9: I’m at the YMCA taking swim classes. My instructor is a college kid who looks like I imagine myself in ten years. At nights, I dream about him tagging me along on adventures.
The class is mostly floating. Bobbing up and down, learning not to drown. There are breaststrokes in all our eyes but that’s for next year. Sometimes, the best thing you can do is stay your age and keep coasting.
We had a bad thunderstorm one afternoon. My mother came to get me. I dried off in the locker room and went with her to the downstairs concession hall. They had events there sometimes, Kiwanis club or birthday parties. That afternoon, though, it was just us refugees.
My mom bought me a gatorade from the vending machine. It tasted like cut lemons. For fifteen minutes, all of us milled around while the rain died down, then we packed in separate cars and went home. I don’t remember much about the other people, or the event space, or the storm. I mostly remember the sour gatorade. But the point I’m trying to make is, I got to go home. There are kids kept by the American government in similar facilities right now, only they’re packed in tighter than your grandfather’s toolbox. Their doors are locked and armed guards chase away anyone trying to donate food or drinks. This is happening right now. The kids can’t go home. This is legal.
Most days I take a walk around the apartments and pass our pool. It’s often crowded. Girls and guys with salt-greased scalps and summer tans. Jumping in the water like new fishes, just born, and opening themselves to the entire ocean, infinitely free.
Currently Reading: Queen, Suzanne Crain Miller
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At Dachau. We had a wonderful pool for the garrison children. It was even heated.William Styron, Sophie’s Choice