Gnats swarmed overhead in giant, festering clouds, and made me reluctant to breathe. The public pool had not gotten any better since the last time I had been, but there was something endearing about its qualities now. The stagnant, brackish water that was always a little too warm and the lecherous life-guards who only cared about your welfare if you lacked a penis – this all contributed to what had become an annual summer get-away.
In the changing room, surrounded by restricting walls that made me feel claustrophobic with their monolithic faces scrawled with graffiti, I changed hastily into my bathing suit, looking forward to jumping into the water and escaping from the hundred-and-fifteen degree heat. I hadn’t worn my bathing suit, and I was fairly surprised when I discovered that it had actually grown bigger. No matter, I simply tightened the string with an extra knot and walked out into the blazing sun.
The concrete beneath my feet was like a stove, crisping the soles of my feet and forcing me into a dance, hopping from one foot to the next. In this fashion, I rushed to the water and slid my way in. The first time you enter the water at the local pool you’re naturally fairly hesitant. How can you not be? The water is far from pristine, and when you come within feet of the pool you begin to notice a strange smell that I’ve never been quite been able to put a finger on. But once you get past this and dull most of your sensory perceptions (by the way, the water doesn’t actually feel like water. The consistency is closer to something like thin oil) it’s just like any other body of water that can be enjoyed in the summer.
Lazily I floated around the pool, when suddenly it became apparent to me that things were very calm – too calm. Just then I realized that I was only person in the pool, not even a life-guard was present, and looking around I noticed a canvas sign on the chain-link fence surrounding the pool. The sun shone through it, rendering it transparent, and I could make out the letters “G-N-I-N-A-E-L-C R-O-F D-E-S-O-L-C”. That’s when I noticed something else floating by me as well, something the size of a grande burrito from Taco Bell. Something that was brown.