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Various Bodies of Water
Early Morning Barton Springs Swim Report 5/30
I always start my swims the same way: walk to the pool the same way, slosh out to the same spot, stand waist-deep in the water for a minute, considering or spacing out or procrastinating (much the same way I start anything). Today, two steps in, I slipped on the mossy bottom of the pool, & then I was already swimming.
(A thought I had while composing the above: I wish there were an ampersand for or. For any number of words. If written English went a little rebusward, I’d be happy.)
An excellent swim anyhow, though I didn’t get to the pool till after 6:30 which meant after my second lap, the rising sun was blinding off the water & I decided to stop because I was in an excellent mood & these days I’m trying to avoid irritating situations. Wish me luck.
No swim reports last week because I was in Provincetown, Massachusetts, at the end of the Cape, with dear pals, trying to write. Instead of swimming, I went on long morning walks. I went to the park at the end of Commercial Street to regard the jetty, & to visit one of the most misbegotten presents I’ve ever gotten anyone.
When my parents were about to celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary, I thought I would buy them a significant gift, & so I purchased a small paving stone at Pilgrims’ First Landing Park. It cost me $350. I was impressed with my own generosity. One day I brought my parents to Provincetown, and then to the park, and then, with a flourish, presented the stone to them. They reacted as though I had shown them their gravestone & to show any emotion one way or the other would be to acknowledge their own mortality. Crass, or dangerous. In retrospect, most of the other paving stones were memorials, & my parents liked Provincetown well enough but weren’t sentimental about it & if you spend a lot of time imagining a person’s reaction to a present it’s probably a sign that the present is mostly about you, anyhow.
My parents were then still alive. They are both dead now, & their ashes have been scattered, & in fact it is not a bad feeling for me to have a place where their names have been carved in stone in a setting that means the world to me. & so 24 years ago I accidentally bought a present for myself, & it’s worked out all right.
It always takes me a while to find it.