The pool is my Zen moment. It is an opportunity to escape the orange menace, corvid, and ancillary fallout of stuff that makes me grind my teeth.
Early mornings usually find me in our pool, with a lone neighbor who reads his morning paper and prefers his own company. We nod and acknowledge each other with an unspoken agreement to enjoy the silence. The neighborhood blue jay squawks a greeting and an occasional dragonfly flyover are my only in pool companions.
That is until last week. I was deep in contemplation when a woman, my contemporary, interrupted the quiet. Accompanied by sunscreen, water, and a smartphone loaded with Leonard Skynyrd ring tones she plopped down on a lounge chair, prepared for what appeared to be a lengthy stay.
I acknowledged her with a nod hoping to convey that this is a time for silent reflection.
She did not receive the message.
After way too many Leonard Skynyrd text notifications, followed by loud lengthy conversations with family members who most likely share a commonality with wolves, she advanced to the pool.
I was willing to share the deep end of the pool, but her belly flop entry in my space indicated she did not respect boundaries.
It was an opportunity for personal growth for me; I took the opportunity to leave the pool.
Some people do not understand the concept of Zen. I’ll bet she doesn’t social distance or wear a mask.
I am a lifelong Southerner, short story author, and essayist. Home is Dallas, Texas.
My essays have appeared in Flash Fiction Magazine, The Dead Mule School of Southern Writing.