Pancakes this Sunday. November 13th 2016 any time after 9am.
Message me for directions
Bring anyone you want.
We need to talk. Oh yeah we are going to talk. We are going to keep talking and we are probably going to get loud, in fact I know we are going to get loud. I underestimated hate, it won’t happen again.
I almost drowned when I was five years old, I barely remember it, but I know the feeling inside on a core level. My grandfather built a swimming pool with two other friends the summer after a cousin drowned in the river. They agreed they couldn’t allow that to happen again, so they went in on the endeavor together. They bought the plans for a pool and they intended to build three. Nick Zebrun did the concrete plaster work while the other two handled the plumbing, iron rebar work and digging. My mother desegregated that pool before I was born bringing home every kind of kid she could find who needed to learn to swim in the hot summer of the 60’s. This pool was left to turn green and then black with algae each winter as the pump and chlorine were turned off around Labor day. So each spring we had to drain the pool and replace the water for the summer. The pool was sixteen feet wide and thirty two feet long. From the lip of the tile to the deepest part of the bowl at the brass drain plate was just over nine feet. Thirty-two thousand gallons of summer. I swam it every chance I got, I lived in that pool. On the best of best summer days we would get my grandmother to come swim with us, she was one of those grand dames of class and grace able to make you love her with a look. Her name was Vonda. She would be so angry today I can’t even imagine.
The pool was mostly empty with only a couple feet of black opaque water draining slowly out the bottom. I was reckless, I was overly confident, I was cocky for a five year old, my grandfather would say, “Here comes trouble.” He had brought me back a shirt that said so from a visit to Arkansas, the state where he had spent his youth. His name was Merlin. He would be so angry today. I can still see the look on his face when Bush won, and I believe he would have hurled his TV through a window.
I fell in, I don’t know how, I just remember being terrified and unable to climb out, my hands and feet slipping on the edge of the bowl, dark water all around me. A nightmare moment, your body wont work the way you know it to work. You can't get anywhere and your survival brain kicks in, triggering adrenalin, that’s when you scream, but if your mouth is full of muck you make no sound, you just disappear.
My uncle literally flew into that pool leaping down and pulled me from that muck and dragged me to safety. His name is David. That’s my middle name, he is the reason. He was at the wedding. I remember being in the bathtub at my grandparent’s house, I remember my mother washing the dirty slime away from my face, I remember her telling me how shaken my uncle was, how it scared him to see my tiny body lost under the water, how he thought he had lost me and then he got me back. Her name is Kay. And she won’t show it but she is so angry today. I wanted to call her last night and congratulate her, but I wasn’t able to because I fell in the muck.
I’m not saying some super hero uncle is going to come flying in from the side risking breaking his own neck to save a bunch of stupid kids who played too close to the edge and fell in, but I am saying this isn’t how we go out. This does not end us, I refuse to allow a villain to define my way of life, I will rise with the heroes, they are named above here.
In 1998 I visited my grandfather at that house and he said he liked pancakes but rarely got them anymore, so I figured since he was getting older I should take this chance to get to know him better. I came and made him pancakes, then I came back once a week for ten years. He was my best friend, we trusted each other, we agreed and disagreed and took care of each other. We checked in at pancakes and he reminded me who I was he reminded me, that I was Trouble and that people had to watch out.
I cleaned that pool for ten years, I fixed and primed the pump, I bought new solar covers, I cleaned the water, I vacuumed the gunk from the bottom, I made that pool pristine. I made a beautiful place to swim. Maintenance is ownership. If we want to own the freedoms and rights we know to be ours, we have to maintenance this place and make it a pristine safe place to swim. We need to vacuum out the muck, we have to be vigilant for when the little ones fall into the muck and we need to pull them out despite the danger to our own persons.
You are allowed to be bummed out for exactly four more days and then we start organizing.
Everyone back in the pool and let’s see if we can get a whirlpool going.