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Zelda's Inferno exercise: swimming

Zelda's Inferno exercise: write about something from a list of topics...I picked swimming

when I have flying dreams --
which is one of my top repeat themes --
it's like I'm swimming thru the air

breaststroke, freestyle crawl
sometimes the backstroke
occasionally in my dreams I find myself doing the elementary backstroke twenty feet above the ground while my childhood swimming instructor's voice repeats the mnemonic for the arm stroke:
tickle (as hands come to the armpits)
T (as they go straight out to the sides)
touch (as hands pull down to hips, the propulsion stroke)

I learned to swim at the pool at the community college, the Red Cross had swimming classes there
I remember the men's locker room there almost as clearly as I remember my own bedroom

later, summers I would bike down to the YMCA pool, spend a whole day swimming
I worked as a lifeguard for three summers in high school and college

somehow I rarely go swimming now

last January I was in San Diego
my birthday, 80 degrees
I went to the beach
the water winter-frigid
but still, I'd never swam in the Pacific
so I jumped in, paddled around

it was not quite like flying
but I'll take it anyway

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