Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Unearthed from the 80s: You know you'll always thrill me

Perfect for the day that fall sends silvery, slender, cold drabs of water down into your sun-drenched eyes from a leaden sky. Autumnal stabbing into your heat-baked, flowery heart.

Who broke my heart? Autumn? No. It has to arrive.

It was summer. For leaving. Leaving all of a sudden.

Monday, September 05, 2016

And now you find yourself in '82

There's not a specific memory tied to this. Like the too-many notes in the song, there's a tumble of images, sounds, smells. The dank lockers, the rusty corners, the glub-lb-lub-lb sounds when underwater, the smack of a back flopping off the board, the screams, just general screams of delight edged with terror from the deep end, and the specific shouts MARCO POLO POLO POLO AAAAAIIIIEEEE, my eyes burning as the shadows deepened, the dense grass squeaking under my bare feet while crossing to the snack bar, the feel of wringing out a sopping towel, the tautness of sun-dried skin, wrinkled finger/toe pads re-wetted, a whistle on a lanyard whipped one way, then the other, around the lifeguard's finger, all of my own freckles, the worry someone noticed you farted in the water, the sun boring into my skin, shoulders, neck and scalp, the parts most often out of the water, then my hair and suit dried by the air across my aunt's red MG, because the top was down, always down, but my eyes didn't dry because they were behind glasses and trying to keep seeing what I saw all summer at the pool.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Don't you want to stay til there's no one else around?

This one was at the beach. The pool is the Atlantic. I don't remember the house, it might have been the weird triple-story one that had seen better days. I was stung by a jellyfish, not a blob but a badass one that had tentacles that left heavy red welts across both of my legs at the knee, welts that lasted well after vacation ended, because I was showing them off to friends back home. I was clinging to my canvas raft, going woop-woooo over the waves, facing the horizon, imagining we could head out there. Occasionally we'd turn around and try to ride a crest to the shoreline, and when you caught it at the right time, bounced and hurled forward on its foam, it was the best, happiest, and most slightly-dangerous thrill. Maybe it was one of those times, turning from east to west that the jelly brushed past me, I felt it passing, and then fire. Pain, fire, that I can't remember now how it felt but I remember that it hurt, more than anything, more than scraping both knees in a single tumble at summer camp, from which I still have scars. The jellyfish welts have disappeared.

I was rescued by my dad and ministered by relatives and a lifeguard who poured ammonia from a jug he had at his chair just for this reason.

I didn't go back in the water the rest of the week, but I still wanted to stay, stay oceanside forever. Til there's no one else around.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Well, I can dance with you, honey

Going to the pool was PURE EXCITEMENT and then you're IN it and this song comes on and you want to sing and shake a little to it but, you know, you're in the pool. But it's the big YWCA pool, so maybe no one will notice if you make up a little showtune-type dance to it, it being so MUSICAL, like a musical, with multiple voices high and low, soft and loud then all chiming in a big crescendo when you don't know crescendo means, but also with a guitar riff, even though you don't know it's called a RIFF.

Not to mention the POINT of it, lyrically speaking.

Friday, August 26, 2016

I'm in another world

At the pool of family friends who lived out in the Kentucky country for a big cookout party. They had a big in-ground one, and we who had once played effortlessly as kids found ourselves teen-awkwardly posing around the thing rather than wearing ourselves out with fun in it. When I (finally?) got in, this played.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

You're moving in circles

The words made no sense, but it sounded so good against the color of the water and the sky and the hot pink (or was it blue striped?) bathing suit, like someplace different, someplace far away--a place that actually sprang from inside a machine, a Yamaha DX1 or 7 or other. Machines have always changed the way we work and play and think, and the sound of progress is especially set in relief when it hits your ears while you're going around and around in what's simply an outdoor box of water.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

You let your mind out somewhere down the road

This one comes directly from the indoor/outdoor pool at the YWCA on Cross Keys Road, the week-long day camp that my cousin and I attended thanks to the largesse of my grandmother. There was this song on some tinny transistor or other, and (somehow?) the chance to see the That pool was enormous. Want to swim inside? Cool. Want to run and jump in in the sunshine? You got it.

I can't remember ever going in the winter, though we could have.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

I heat up, I can't cool down

Summer at the pool. This crinkles out of the lifeguard's AM/FM Panasonic over the 3' - 5' area of the pool, the long part of its L shape. The sky and the water are the same color blue and when the breeze shifts, fryer smell wafts over the water, which you stay in from one whistle blow to the next. Enforced breaks, goose pimpled and sun-scalded skin, fryer smell now in your hands via a tray of perfect golden spears, maybe a Sprite. The towel is hot, the deck chair is hot, the concrete surface is hotter.

There is no better time, nor place.

Monday, June 20, 2016

[Summer madness]

Since I don't know how to type out that synth sound for the title of this post, I'll just say "right on, man," revel in how g-d jazzy Kool & the Gang truly was, and hope I hear Herb Kent the Cool Gent play this on an upcoming summer Sunday afternoon. Long afternoons stretching into evening by the lake, Herb laying this out there. Yes, honey. Yes.