yeah, so, not such a great night. i’m laying here in only undies watching a total garbage movie with a bottle of coke and some excessively salty ecuadorian tostitos EVEN THOUGH i’m constantly self-conscious of my ass. my mind is also in the gutter, both intellectually and of course sexually. hmmm, how did i get here again? oh yes, yes…now i remember, it was that last rum and coke, perhaps. or maybe it was because i simply fall in love with everybody; men, women, children. and then i lose them, and then i’m sad, and this is never going to stop. best be getting used to it.
the other night i was running around the track at the U. the maintenance men forgot to turn the lights on so the only light i had was the glowing, shimmering, swimming pool, filling the whole outdoor space with a strange, turquoise light. i thought it looked terribly enticing, and decided to stay late after work the next night just for a little evening swim in the (almost) dark.
well, as usual, my romantic fantasy of night-time aquatic pleasure (sounds a wee bit sexual, surprise!) far surpassed the reality. first, i realized i was TERRIFIED of my face being submerged IN the water the moments the under-water lights were flicked on. i don’t know why. but this lead me to swim way too many laps on my back while i waited for the maintenance men to realize it was YES IN FACT dark. and when they finally went on, i dove below the surface and opened my eyes to see…hardly anything. the water was so cloudy, likely due to urine, hair balls, and scummy feet, that i could barely make out the sources of light, and visibility was surely no more than 6 feet. so instead of shimmering water patterns bouncing off my skin, i was enveloped in something akin to liquefied green fog. ohh, this is what i get for being dazzled by ideas. piss pools saturated with chlorine that makes my hair stink for days.
i won’t lie though, it was nice to look up whilst swimming the back-stroke (my stroke) and see the few stars bright enough to make themselves visible through the stacks of smog that blanket our city. i remembered washington trying to be mr. romantic-latino-man in the jungle canoe and i laughed. to laugh is always a good thing. the best part, though, didn’t come until the end. i was done, and hungry, and there was no one there. i reverted to my teenage self who always played around in the ice-cold pool after swim practice during high school. i did flips and twists and curls and arches and other odd-bodily-contortions under water. i sank and listened to my bubbles of breath rush to the surface, to the currents of gentle water rippling around me. oh, those strings of tiny bubbles! that skin of water more flexible than cellophane! i opened my eyes and watched tufts of my hair float up like the vaporous arms of a distant galaxy, weightless and somehow containing mass. i felt happier and more at home than ever. i have always felt home in the water. i’ve always been sad that humans can’t breathe down there. because sometimes i feel like i don’t belong up here.
i sometimes like to think in my previous life i was a fish. but i know better.
i was most certainly a mermaid.