Saturday, Feb. 09, 2019 @ 11:42 pm
Washing the sheets, vacuuming the floor. The sun in shining, and I tackle the fingerprinted windows. Pull the filters from the bottom of the dishwasher and scrub off the mysterious algae.
I walk to the grocery store to replace the milk and bananas. I buy a pot of tiny daffodils. In the lineup, the man in front of me has placed an assortment of change on the conveyor belt. He points to the lottery tickets and grunts. The cashier asks him to choose one, to tear one from the rack. I look at him more closely - elderly, not too many teeth, and probably no English. He gestures towards the lotto rack again. She tells him to pick one. He grunts and points. It's an infinite loop of language barrier.
"He has six dollars in change there. I think he wants the six dollar ticket," I suggest.
They both look up at me. I reach over and tear off the ticket and smile at him and make a questioning expression. He grins. She runs the transaction through. The man behind me in line sighs audibly in relief.
"Good luck!" I say to the man. He shuffles off.
Later, I go swimming.
The lanes are empty, somehow, and I turn over and do length after length of backstroke. I feel vulnerable but supported. Belly exposed, my chest opening with each stroke backwards. Unable to see where I'm going. A wave of hollow panic washes over me, and I focus on the water supporting me from below. Breathing steady. Arm over arm. I'm OK. I'm OK.
I go in the sauna. I come out of the sauna. I stand under the cold torture shower. A man walks by and says, "You should get an award for using that one."
I watch the kids jump from the high diving board. When the lineup clears, I go up the stairs and walk out onto the blue bouncing plank. I can't turn around now. Toes over the end. Looking down.
I make eye contact with the life guard.