June 02, 2002

to the pool

If I can stop coughing long enough, I'm taking Jenna to the pool today. It's hot here now--Georgia hot. The hot that makes northern transplants wonder: why did we come here again? So, to the pool to watch my golden girl flounder and splash her floaties with delight. And me? I love water.

I mean, I really LOVE the water, to be in water, of water. When I was 12, I'd spend the night on a rubber raft drifting about my grandmother's pool, star gazing, shivering, water temperature just 65, wrapped in a beach towel to keep me warm. I just wanted to float. As a teenager, I spent summers swimming my horse in Lake Ontario. There is nothing, and I mean nothing, like swimming with your horse, all power and snorting, reaching and floating. Aloft. adrift. apart from the earth.

When I was pregnant, I sometimes took 6 baths a day. Friends and family wondered if this might be obsessive, unhealthy. I didn't bother telling the doctors. It seemed every bit normal to me. My husband would watch the t-shirt come off, smiling, "Off to the bath again?" Belly full of stone-hard fibroids, some bigger than Jenna, it was like carrying twins, triplets. The dead and undead growing inside. All I wanted to do was float. And I did. And she would come alive in that tub, making waves with me, an elbow emerging from between two rock-hard tumorous lumps. The beauty and the horror. In my own little tub in my own little house in my own little world. Safe.

So today, the pool is calling. Healing? I hope so. I'm still not well. And so, I go back, give in to my need to float, to drift. To go home.