The Water Way
– J. T. Townley
Dr. Marcie’s pool through the ten-foot security gate. A huge, curved teardrop, or half a yin yang, made of gunite and plaster. The clear water shimmers in the California sunlight. Poolside, Shirley the goat chews the cushion of a chaise lounge.
A luxury sedan hums down the street behind me. I grip the iron bars and wait. Unseen birds chirp in the trees; a cool breeze blows. Now I’m up and over, agile as a lynx, but the Tony Llama on my left foot catches the top of the gate. I hang there, midair, long enough to wonder what time Dr. Marcie will be home. I tug at my boot, struggling to dislodge it. Instead, my foot slips out, and I land in a rosemary bush.
I limp across the deck to the water. Shirley pauses mid-mastication and stares at me. I reach up to scratch my head at the mystery of it, only to notice my black felt Stetson is missing. Maybe I lost it in the fall? I imagine myself wading into the water and slowly sinking to the bottom, only to realize I’m already there. So I dig a raft out of the shed and slide it into the pool. On the first step, my right boot filling with water, I lie back onto the raft and push myself away from the side toward the deep end.
Shirley gives me a tinny bleat.