The Quiet Pool

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The Quiet Pool

I had come to the quiet pool, the adults-only pool between buildings two and three, that morning to give the husband a quiet room. It was Wednesday in Princeville and the husband was preparing for a meeting on Friday in Vancouver, and instead of interrupting his Slack conversations and fussing with newspapers collected at airport lounges, I thought it would be smart to leave him alone.

I can only offer so much coffee before politeness turns either edgy or desperate. Besides, I needed to catch up on my notes of the trip. So, I dropped the room key, sunscreen, Tylenol, water bottle, the book I was reading (The Violent Bear It Away by Flannery O’Connor) and my notebook into a bag, took a dry beach towel, said I’d be in back in an hour and left.

Quiet pools are set aside, as I have learned, for people who seek minimal external disturbances: no Bluetooth speakers, no belly-flopping toddlers, nothing rowdy or unexpected to break the poolside equilibrium. You see middle-aged couples in black shorts and t-shirts with TOMS under their chairs, an angular twenty-something guy with earbuds, a trio of women who step down into the pool and kick up their feet to a ledge and float on their backs as bikini-covered crosses. The loungers are clicked to the most upright position and most books are hard-cover. The pool water appears heavy, as if it too is asking not to be disturbed. These are the pools where married adults go to simultaneously prevent an argument and get a tan.

Except for two women meditating ($17 for a one-hour guided meditation session with a choice of essential oils), I was the only one at the quiet pool that morning.

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