Where we live, summers are hot. Crazy hot. Couple that with menopause and you’ve got (or, worse, my husband’s got) a steaming cauldron of bitch. Thankfully, in our back yard, stands the remedy: our circle ‘o steel-and-vinyl bliss. Our 24-foot-diameter, 4.5-foot-deep liquid heaven. Our big-ass-redneck-above-ground pool.
Husband got the faux-Doughboy off of Craig’s List, nearly free, about six years ago. “It’s a deal,” he’d said. “Pools this big go for a couple thousand dollars new.”
Thing is, when he got it home and put it together, all of the brackets were missing. So, Husband made brackets out of flat, metal rectangles he bent with a vice and drilled holes into. Also missing: the “end caps,” the tidy plastic shells that top the brackets, thereby making an above-ground pool look more “finished” — less like a can-opener had its way with it.
But when it’s 105 degrees outside, you don’t give a damn what your “water feature” looks like. You don’t care that crabgrass manages, somehow, to grow along its top edge. And when it’s nighttime, still 90-ish outside … and you’re sweat-drenched from your nightly power-walk … and your yard is dark enough so bathing suits are optional (despite the neighbor’s second-story window) … and the stars twinkle and sprawl out above you as you let the water cool the back of your neck … you thank those stars and the universe that holds them for your 24-footer and its capacity for full-immersion.
Last night, while CC and her friends were at a concert, Husband and I employed the 24-footer for what may be the last time of the season. After our walk, we shed our sweaty clothes and dove in. Bliss, I tell you! Chlorine-and algaecide-scented rapture.
Six summers we’ve spent in our can-o-pool — countless nights in naked buoyancy beneath the stars (and our neighbor’s window), but only last night I noticed this: my boobs. My boobs the way they’d been when I was twenty. No, better than when I was twenty. Boobs that no sweat (or pencil, Chris) could lie beneath …because there was no beneath. Boobs that jutted out into the cool water, sans gravity. Renaissance boobs, the kind that present themselves like babies butts from the tops of corsets. They were glorious. How had I not noticed this before? I couldn’t keep my hands off of them.
“Damn,” said I to Husband, “check these out!”
He complied, reaching to where he would usually find them, and missing … because they were bobbing a good distance higher. And when I say bobbing, I mean heaving.
“I like your boobs in or out of the water,” he said. But what else would he say? Our marriage contract mandates allegiance to my breasts. If he were to say, “Wow, yeah, they’re so much less dangly” … the rest of the evening would go badly for him.
Still, I felt he was patronizing me and the girls.
“Feel them.” I moved his hands up a good four inches.
He chuckled, gave them a squeeze that seemed a tad obligatory, but he wasn’t nearly as impressed as I thought he’d be. Perhaps because he knew they wouldn’t stay that way.
“I think that’s Orion’s Belt,” he said, transfixed by higher things.
“Maybe,” I said, re-cupping my fabulously buoyant breasts. Breasts that were even fuller north of the nipples than south of them.
“You really like those,” he noted, looking at my face — my face, rather than my awesome Marie-Antoinette rack.
I ran my fingers along what would, in gravity and heat, be a sweaty crevice where I could sprout mung beans — replaced now by a slope so gentle and cool and true it could have been the nape of a dove’s neck.
“Like them?” (more like revere). “Here, maybe you didn’t get a good feel …”
In Buddhist meditation, they call this “grasping.” Trying to hold onto that which is impermanent. In porn, I think they call it something else. Either way, eventually, I let go and got out of the pool …
So much of that lately: letting go and getting out of the pool. So much that’s not where it used to be. So much gravity to be defied.
Note to self: You’re getting too philosophical again. Get back in the pool and grab your tits.