stoned at the public pool

I watch humanity do exactly what it is supposed to do. A million little blips, each person their own universe. Gentle movements all around like a pulse, a reminder that the world is still alive. I am still alive.

A couple walks by, looking ordinary and joyful. The man fixes the knot at the neck of his wife's swimsuit top as they pass. Taking a few extra seconds, he makes sure it looks perfect. He tugs at the bow loops tenderly and pulls and tightens the strings until they are an even length. This extra attentiveness is done without ask or acknowledgement, tying the perfect bow not for her eyes but for her heart. Neither of them has stopped walking, their conversation uninterrupted. 

Two teenagers are holding hands for what is very obviously their first time. Quietly the energy moves between them; neither one is particularly loud or overtly affectionate. They weave between families on their blankets and sunbathers on their chairs, eyes to the ground. A lack of emoting due to attentiveness, or perhaps nervousness - I am not sure. But their hands stay clasped tight as they stroll in circles around the pool as if they are the only two people there. I feel myself disappear in their presence. The world is as big as their fists, melded into one.

Children run and play and learn about space. They charge valiantly back and forth, from water to parents’ arms back to water with reckless abandon, undeterred by the people passing through the crossfire in front of them. These children are explorers of the world; they do not know their actions could be interpreted as burdensome. I think of myself at that age and deeply feel that I always knew.