Saturday, July 17, 2010

Greenwood Hills

I stood on the diving board, overlooking the sparkling blue water of the swimming pool. The lifeguards were high up in their towering chairs, scanning the swimmers through their dark shades. I watched as a little girl plummeted down the slide and slipped into the water, sending a wave crashing over the side of the pool. The hot Texas sun shone down from a crystal blue sky scattered with puffy white clouds.

Beneath my running feet was the rough surface of the diving board. I heard the clank of the bending board, and I squeezed my eyes closed as I went head-first into the cool water. Swimming to the side, I pulled myself up and out of the pool, the bitter taste of chlorinated water in my mouth. I took a deep breath and smelled the chlorine and the suntan lotion that clung in the air over the glimmering surface of the pool.

The green Astroturf tickled my toes as I walked over to my spot. The water oozed up from the wet carpet, squishing as I walked and forming puddles in the low pockets on the deck.

The shriek of the lifeguard's whistle carried over the low hum of people talking, and I heard her shout a warning.

I sat on a lawn chair, feeling the criss-cross of the plastic pinch the backs of my legs. A pop song blared over the radio and I could see others mouthing the words. A plastic package crackled as I took a favored lemon drop out and placed it on my tongue, the sweet taste of sugar and the sour taste of lemon filling my mouth. I offered my brother one, and we sat there soaking up the hot, streaming sun, sucking on the sour candies.

We watched as other divers tried tricks off the diving board, making great splashes that washed over the sides of the pool, spraying a mist that cooled us in the blazing Texas sun. The radio flickered and a voice came over the loudspeakers, announcing that it was now time for adult swim, and the kids had to clear the pool. A chorus of groans arose as the pool emptied and we watched as a few of the braver parents slid into the refreshing water.

The warm sun dried the others quickly and I heard the beeping and crackling of video games being played in the shack behind me. The vending machines were whirring as dozens of children stood in line for candy and soda, their quarters disappearing into the slots and their treats falling with a thump.

I heard a pop as someone served a volleyball over the net in the sand volleyball court behind the shack. I got up to watch and the sand crunched beneath my feet as I joined the game. As I waited for the ball to be served again, I breathed in the thick, humid air and looked up at the bright blue sky. This was just another day at the pool to pass the time in the long summer.

*I wrote this as an assignment for a class a few years ago to write about a childhood memory. Loved my summers in best memories are from there. The pictures are of three of my brothers, two going off the diving board and one on the slide.

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