Did you hear the possums last night? Up in the roof? she says.
Sorry, I say, I didn’t.
It sounded like a stampede. Like a wild party.
Why weren’t we invited? I chuckle. Nah, I was asleep.
I forgot, she says. You sleep deep.
I had a dream, I say.
Now you’re sounding like Martin Luther King. What was yours?
I was swimming laps in the pool a week before lock-down. I was the only one there. I came out feeling exhausted but exhilarated. That’s when I came in to see you.
You better have a shower then, she says.
You smell of chlorine.
* pic Chrissie-Kremer from Unsplash
Do you realize it’s our anniversary today?
No, I didn’t.
Yes, we met a year ago today. In this pool.
Is that right?
Do you know something else?
What? She says.
We have never seen each other with clothes on.
You make it sound sexy. What shall we do to celebrate?
Swim, I suppose.
So off we go, me in my lane, she in hers, like we’ve been doing every Sunday for a year.
- do you remember where you spent your first anniversary?
As soon as you walk in you see them paraded
along the walls
exemplars of Beauty and Strength:
Warnie unleashing a leg spinner,
Its eye on middle stump, Krygios rocketing another ball
past his opponent,
Thorpie diving into glory,
even one of cane growers in Queensland,
big blocky blokes in blue singlets
bringing in the harvest;
of Cathy Freeman at the Sydney Olympics.
But my humerus and hamstrings
were playing up.
On good days
I can do almost anything, but
on bad ones I can barely put one foot in front
of the other, bounce a ball
let alone slam it down centre court
at 200 kph
and the only way I could get in a pool is to fall in it.
Shadows on the ocean.
Too much motion.
Anything could be anything.
Shadows or sharks.
Stingrays or box jelly-fish.
You just don’t know.
No, sir. Not going in.
No swimming today.