Monday, July 20, 2009

The Pool Monkey

I love swimming pools that sparkle like blue quartz lapping on marble where the only company are statutes of Aphrodite.
Or infinity pools perched on the edge of the Mediterranean, where you feel like you are going to tumble over the cliffs of antiquity and lose yourself in the sunset.
Not that I can recall swimming in any pools like that.
Instead our reality on humid Sundays is the pool at the local state park. My memories of cocktails beside the pool of the Sheraton in Luxor recede at an accelerated rate as we approach the chain link fence, our spare clothes in the latest line of stylish trash can liners from Food Lion.
To get here we have driven about 40 minutes because we succeeded in moving into the only condo complex on this side of town without a pool.
Instead we pay $130 a month for a worker to stand outside our house picking his nose while pretending not to notice that our postage stamp sized lawn has died.
On many occasions we have deliberately averted our eyes from the almost deserted blue pool at Steeple Chase just five minutes from our home.
In contrast the pool at Chippokes Plantation State Park is usually full of ill behaved kids who have been disgorged from a nearby connurbation. Tattoos and ankle bracelets abound.
On the positive side my book on the history of ancient civilizations is in little danger from thieves.
The pool was clean on Sunday; most pools are compared to the municipal gunk fest that was Elizabeth City's public pool.
But there was a disconcerting smell wafting over from a nearby drain.
There are other hazards here such as horse flies, which are so named because they are almost the size of a horse.
There are plenty of rules about eating by the pool, using inflatables, pets and not entering the pool in your work clothes - as if.
However, the first time were were here somebody thought it was a good idea to take their monkey for a swim.
Like a surreal sequal to Jaws, the pool cleared as the frightened animal careered towards a group of kids snapping its razor sharp teeth.
The staff who are so zealous about food regulations seemed fine to give the monkey a pool pass.
The monkey incident coincided with an early pool experience for my daughter.
Now she can't understand it when she visits the pool and there's no resident pool monkey.

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