Happy Wednesday bookish people! It’s Wednesday which means it’s time for another Where’d I Leave It Wednesday! I’ve decided to stick with a similar way of writing as last week’s story, let me know what you think!
Today’s story is all about swimming, of course when I go swimming (it’s rare) I have to leave my cane and glasses in the changing room… the world looks very strange without them..
On to the story!
It wasn’t blue, not completely but a turquoise colour. A turquoise with diagonal stripes of deep blue, like a turquoise and blue zebra had melted on the floor and left a puddle. An extremely deep puddle. That strangers will float around in like human versions of ducks in a bath. Usually wearing ridiculous things like bikini tops with no straps. Even though water is like a stronger version of gravity to those things. That is how I see a swimming pool – a swirling, whirling pit of green and blue merging together. I imagine jumping in would feel like catapulting myself into it’s wide open mouth. Of course, I only imagine it, I would never be stupid enough to actually jump in. Maybe one day an overzealous scientist who believes they will change the life of someone like me, for the price of a classical painting that is, will invent eyewear that stops a pool from drowning your eyes in salt at the same time as allowing me to stop imagining melted zebras at the local sports centre. Like a Gucci version of goggles. How fancy. The envy of every blind person. Until then I just can’t visit any zoos.
Swimming and I, we’ve never gotten along too well. From the first time I waded into the blurry expanse of the pool. And by that, I mean ‘gently’ guided in by a teacher after having a tantrum, worse than a toddler told no in a supermarket, before I’d even left the changing area. I shrieked, I cried, I ended up in the water anyway. Clinging to one of those coloured pool noodles made of foam like it was the last remaining lifeboat on the Titanic. Our relationship only got worse from there. A tumultuous relationship that most recently led to an embarrassing moment with a toddler. It wasn’t even my child. When my sister asked me to go swimming with her and her friend, I didn’t realise we would be bringing along the crazed energy that is her five-year-old son. Generally, I love children. Having an uncensored, often brutally honest, conversation with them can be refreshing. But her son could make the most pious nun renounce God and never go to church again if it meant getting away from him. As soon as he clambered into his car seat with yellow armbands on, that could have fit an elephant, I knew that day was not going to be as simple as just swimming in water I couldn’t see. The armbands absorbed the top of his arms like the sleeves of a 1980s wedding dress. Each time he moved they knocked against each other and created a long drawn out squealing noise. If I had any pins in my hair, I would have used one to pop them. Oh dear, he wouldn’t have been able to go swimming. What a shame. Unfortunately I didn’t have anything so her son did end up swimming with us. By us I mean me, considering his mother disappeared to the opposite end of the pool with my sister as soon as we entered. They stayed in the deep end of the pool, swimming around like sharks drunk off mischief. Being short and well, blind, I went no further than the water skimming my hips which meant being an unwilling babysitter. He even began calling me Auntie. I am not his Auntie; he has one who lives in Wales. If I was an Auntie, and my sister had somehow reproduced, I would definitely not take them swimming. I would also make sure their parent was in close proximity so that I could hand them back quickly. I couldn’t do that when his mum was down the other end of the pool.
I thought that perhaps he would be bored or scared after being in the pool for an extended amount of time but instead he was taking large jumps, as large as he could with toddler sized legs suspended in water. He made for an ungraceful ballerina. It was during one of these leaps that one of his curled-up feet caught on the mottled texture at the bottom of the pool. His face barely had time to crease in anticipation of a complaint before it smacked into the water and disappeared beneath the turquoise. The speed of which he fell pushed his bottom half to the floor of the pool and he bounced there for a moment. The sound echoed around and reached his mother but I had already reached under and pulled his head back out of the water. She stayed at the other end of the pool. Water cascaded down his forehead and dribbled from his chin. His eyes were squeezed shut. I was already preparing for his next move; he might begin to cry or he might make a dash for the stairs to exit the pool. Not that I would have minded had he wanted to vacate the pool as fast as possible. I thought there had been enough adrenaline for one day. Neither option was what he did. His little hands bunched up around his waist and before I had time to ask if he was okay, he pulled his swimming trunks down and let them inflate in the water. He stood there proudly naked in a public swimming pool and said “kiss it better Auntie”. I don’t think so.
That’s it for today’s story, I hope you all enjoyed it!