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Barton Springs Swim Report 4/6/23
Saturday mornings in the daylight the pool is full of serious swimmers seriously swimming: I am a dinghy among yachts. This morning a yachty woman pulled close alongside me & I accidentally patted her on the bathing cap. Big peachy moon at first; then overcast. I swam for over an hour & when I left, just before eight, I encountered, for the first time, a bunch of people running to the gate to slip in before the pool started charging admission. They cheered each other on. I cheered them on too, in my heart
I received an email from a reader of this Substack who complained that it read more like a journal, not “polished fiction.” I apologize to that gentleman & anyone else who has been reading expecting polished fiction: it’s neither. As a series of short stories, it’s repetitive; as a novel, it has no plot or conflict, its main character always in the same mood & the same state of undress. Indeed it’s so dull it can only be non-fiction, my way to tell the universe (or a very small subset) that I like to swim early in the morning & I feel unseemingly virtuous about it. The good news is that as a way to demand admiration for low-level athletics it’s been very effective. He sent another message—I honestly didn’t realize that I could receive emails from random fellas via Substack, & can’t figure out how to prevent it—that said, in its entirety, “Ive read much better from you.” I should hope so. Sometimes I compose these sentences in my head while I swim but mostly they’re off-the-cuff, unconsidered, self-indulgent. That is why they are free. When I get paid I work a little harder.
Soon enough I’ll start my summer travels & will have to find something else to write about. That won’t be fiction, either.
As I left the pool morning I passed a smiling man about my age.
“Good swim?” he asked.
“Great swim,” I answered.
“Aren’t we lucky!” he exclaimed.