Monday, April 23, 2007

“my gangly ill-formed contraption”

from the diary: “Wednesday 6/24/87

“This morning in swimming we learned sidestroke with scissor kick. I kind of got the hang of it till we were doing [the] lifesaving technique of dragging [a] person through water. The guy who dragged me did a great job. I got almost no water in my face and felt relaxed. But when I tried to drag him. ARG! I kept dunking him and kinda flailing around. When we got a few feet from the end I let him go and said, ‘Swim!’ It dint help that this kid is damn lovely. Perfect little bod, makes my gangly ill-formed contraption for locomotion and general living look low rent. I asked the girl who was being stroke observer what I did wrong. She asked, ‘What were you doing? It looked like you were making up your own stroke.’ Yeah. Umph. Do we get points for originality?”

Swimming was one of the summer school classes I was taking. It was in the outdoor pool and met at 9am. 3 mornings out of 4 that meant cool overcast. The fog would burn off by noon and the day would be shirt sleeves warm. But, damn, did I shiver in that morning pool! I remember the teacher would lecture to us while we were in the water, clinging to the rim of the pool. I kept willing him to shut up and let us swim so I could build up some heat.

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