my new sound of summer

School may not be out and the calendar may not have passed June 21st yet, but it’s officially summer. We went to the town pool this afternoon.

For a mere (gag) 7 Euros 90, Kaitlyn and I got to usher in the season of suntan lotion and splashing. We didn’t go till 4 in the afternoon, so I skipped the lotion. My shoulders are now telling me that wasn’t the brightest thing I’ve ever done.

While Kaitlyn soaked up the thrill of the pool… she can easily touch the bottom (I think it’s marked at 120 centimeters deep)… I soaked up the unique experience that is a public pool here.

The thing that struck me the most today wasn’t the bathing suits (more one pieces this year… nice to see modesty make an appearance), or the layout, which last year I found hard to get used to.

No… now it’s the sound of our pool. (yes, I will call it “our” pool.)

I closed my eyes and listened. There’s the kids screaming and playing… lots of “maman!” or “regarde!” (mom! watch!) There’s the hum that French otherwise forms in my head. There was even the occasional bit of English I thought drifted my way. There was the tinkle of the bell behind me. It sits at the desk where you check your clothes (Everyone wears their street clothes to the pool, then changes in a changing room. You hang your clothes on a valet-hanger, put your shoes and other stuff in a basket on the bottom, then take a rubber band with a number on it and wear that around. It’s like a coat check. But not for coats. And it’s free. Should be for the price you pay to get in.) There was the pounding on changing room doors while children and lost husbands looked for people. There was the smack-smack of flip flops passing by. The distant volleyball game. The steady splashing as one after another pre-teens showed off by leaping fearlessly off the high dive into the big pool. Crying. Shouting. Go to a restaurant and everyone speaks in what feels like a whisper, it’s so quiet. There is nothing quiet about the pool. It’s a new kind of familiar that I found weirdly comforting.

One Response to “my new sound of summer”

  1. D.A.D. says:

    Glad to see you writing again. Obviously you chose not to spend the $90 with Macintosh’s website. Ah, you describe the walla of a pool. Amazing how our senses draw images and memories from sounds enveloping us.

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