I Go Swimming Every Day
The summer of 2020 should have been one of the worst of my life. But it has turned out to be one of the best, because I go swimming every day in a beautiful reservoir.
T thinks “beautiful reservoir” is an oxymoron. “Ugh, it’s hideous,” he has said every time we happen to go together. He hates the fact it is unnatural, created by a dam, and is often full of motorboats and people, churning it all up, making it cloudy.
The edges of the lake are rough and irregular, like wholesome wheat bread cut with a dull knife, or old, hard lumpy brown sugar. When the lake gets low, and it is low right now, tree stumps and sandbars emerge. But I don’t really ever see the less attractive parts of the reservoir, which we who swim in it just call a lake. I just see the water, and the water is clean, and blue. From my vantage point, with my eyes just a few inches above its surface, I just see the cottonwoods winking on the shore, and above that, the pine-covered hills. I have learned a million times what all the different pines are called, I can’t keep them all straight.
Previous summers, I went to this lake just once or twice a week. But this summer something wonderful happened; a guy who lives in our neighborhood got completely wasted and sideswiped my car, so it was in the shop for a while. During this time, I ran into an acquaintance of mine who asked why I hadn’t been at the lake at all that week, and I explained my car was out of service. She said that she could drive me if I’d be willing to sit in the back seat with a mask on with the windows down. I said I would be. And then, even when my car was repaired we kept going together. She went every day, so I went every day.
An aside: It was luxurious to have an excuse to be in a car with another person, another person to talk regularly enough that both of us could just be nattering bores when we wanted. Those of you who are seeing just one person, or three if you have children, or zero people, I strongly suggest making sure you see another person, in person, every day. If you are overwhelmed with the smallness of your world and…