Thursday, April 19, 2007

Waterlust?

My tan is starting to fade, but back when it first started to form, I was dipped in the edge of the beach. I was buoyant in water--tepid and foaming green--watching cruise ships docked in the distance. The waft of vacation covered me like bubble film and I was so glad not to be on board; so glad not to have to pull away.

I felt like I belonged in the swells of the ocean. I love the sensation of a slow flapping dance to keep me afloat; I like to be weightless above animals unseen, fish darting around my ankles (and then screaming my head off when a foot is tangled in seaweed, forever convinced it’s a scale-covered monster that feeds on the flailing legs of girls…).

Not to discount the amazement of pools. I have so many happy memories of them: on the swim team in first grade when my nickname was “Killer K” because I had a furious backstroke which steered me sharply into the dividers at each side of the lane (right, left, right) and my kid limbs would thrash and I would hit one and then I would turn again. Somehow, this made me somewhat fast on certain days. Though I surely would have been a lot faster without this unique...er...technique. I still remember being small and cold in the early morning for practice in summertime, having to wear a sweatshirt until the very last minute (white with red block lettering, the sleeves hanging to my knees), or the startling crack of the gun indicating our jump in, or the shame of a false start--always my biggest fear--where a swimmer would expend thirty percent of her energy on a beautifully deep dive and pop her head up in triumph only to realize no one was swimming next to her, the coach shaking his head, the pull of weight to level herself back to the starting point and the slapping of chlorine drops off her body onto the cement.

At our last house we had a gorgeous pool flanked by gardens of roses and rocks that was shaped like a vintage Absolut bottle, edged with antique tiles and a florescent Miami light show at night which went from red to purple to blue to green to white. My friends loved it. I loved it. My parents barely used it. Then we moved away. Then I moved away, to the city, and the last pool I was privy to in this area was in Brooklyn for a Beirut concert and a hilarious game of dodgeball where there was a lot of hipster-on-hipster pounding.

It’s things like that—vacation, past houses and childhoods that shape my future wants. I want to be by the water: natural or in-ground doesn’t matter as long as I’m near blue. I want it more than anything else in a home: French doors, chef’s kitchen, acreage—all are secondary. I fantasize about water the way some people do about money or leather.

It’s a little weird…right?

Case in point. I was stuck in the airport for eight hours last Monday (as the perfect sendoff for my vacation) and I spent two of those gripping a luxury pool magazine, ooohing and aaahing at infinity edges, palazzo-inspired creations, lagoon meanderings. I couldn’t believe that someone out there had published such a book, like it was intended just for me, and when I had read it cover to cover I saw another magazine: this one only about islands. Have you seen either of these? Did I imagine them? They were truly great and I’m debating whether to look them up on the internet, and subscribe. I’m just a little wary. What will happen to me, when I extract them from my mailbox and a neighbor sees? Sexual perversions are one thing, but having a magazine about pools clutched under my arm as I cut short my conversation to run upstairs and feverishly flip through it on the couch without even taking off my coat and scarf might be too bizarre to forgive…

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

not weird!!! i love water too. though that magazine sounds kind of hilarious.

snapshot_superhero said...

The money I could see... But fantisizing about leather? *smiles* Seriously?

Anonymous said...

I think she meant leather as in S&M...