Drop #109: Swimming

poolI go swimming Tuesday afternoons. It’s almost empty, as usual. Only the one other man and I are there. We own the pool.

I do twenty lengths of crawl and twenty of breaststroke, leisurely. He does something similar in the lane next door. We repeatedly pass each other, his orange trunks approaching like a tiny ember, growing brighter, then moving by.

Maybe he swims a little faster, or slower, cause when my fingertips touch the edge for the final time he is also at my end. I take off my goggles and pull myself up and out, and as I’m standing there, dripping, he says: ‘Great pool isn’t it?’

‘What?’

‘Great place to get some exercise, isn’t it?’ he says, smiling.

‘Sure is,’ I say. ‘Sure is.’

Driving home I am distracted. I almost run a stop sign. I just can’t stop asking the question: why now? Why strike up a conversation now, after we’d been swimming past each other silently every Tuesday afternoon for the last fifteen years?

By E.M. Vireo

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About EM Vireo
flooding the world with fiction

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