Katie (yourhuckleberry) wrote,

Going to the Pool

"Dad can I go to the pool?" He kept reading his newspaper as I fidgeted with my hair in bare feet and shorts next to his big orange chair. He made no move to indicate he had heard me. "Dad can I go to the pool please?" I begged. His hand moved to turn the page and he shook the paper to smooth it. "You know how Pete goes to the pool with his friends sometimes? Well I want to go too, and I'm only four and I know the way to walk there by myself. You don't have to come with." My dad continued reading his paper, never even bothering to look at me.
Finally, I decided that I was going to the pool with or without his permission. Hell, I was going with or without his knowledge. But I didn't want to get into any trouble for it, so I made another decision as well. I determined that the next sound that escaped from his lips would just have to suffice as a "yes," and the next movement his oversized head made would just have to suffice as a nod of agreement. I can't recall which it turned out to be, but I got the proverbial nod.
I remember feeling a tight little knot in my tummy as I walked across the kitchen floor to the door. I was angry and excited and really, really happy to be going to the pool. I ran giggling out the front door, and as I made barefoot tracks down the middle of the street, that tight, little knot burst within me like the sun; warm excitement sending row after row of shivers up my spine, and terror flushing through me from head to toe, all at the same time.
Looking back on it now, I can pinpoint that feeling of crossing the line, I can look clearly at the rush that was always waiting for me, just behind the point of no return. Even moreso, I understand how it came to be that the love of this "sunburst" feeling would get me into more trouble than any soul had a right to be in. When I was four, though, I was just going to the pool. I made it there and had a talk with a hairy-legged man in blue wave swimming trunks. I don't remember actually making it into the pool, but that's not even the point.
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