This was written for The Red Dress Club‘s memoir writing project, Remembe(red). Concrit is always welcome, and thanks for taking the time!
Word limit: 600 My count: 505
We were the only house on the court with a pool. In a neighborhood full of kids, with two or more at every house, and babies being born on a seemingly weekly basis, this made my sister and me pretty popular on summer break.
While other kids were stuck running through sprinklers or shooting the hose at each other, we had a sparkling blue lagoon of our very own, complete with diving board and an automatic vacuum that drove aimlessly around the deep end.
The neighborhood kids were all friends back then, so we often ended up hosting impromptu pool parties, with my mom sitting in her patio chair, feet propped up, drinking sun tea and reading the latest VC Andrews.
When I was eight, our older (read: 11 year old) neighbor, Lauren, got a new bathing suit. It didn't look like much, it was a basic mailliot, with skinny straps and modestly cut legs. Even though it was the most beautiful shade of purple ever, like the sun shining through a glass of Welch's grape juice, it appeared, to my eye, to “just” be a bathing suit.
And then Lauren got in the water.
When she emerged from the pool, everything was different. Her formerly plain suit was now printed with words! Sassoon logos, in a neat diagonal pattern, crisscrossed her body where there had only been solid color before she had jumped in the water! It was magic! The latest in fabric technology, these logos only appeared when wet, and we all watched in awe as the suit dried in the warm summer sun, slowly fading the logos and returning to suit to solid.
“You're so lucky, Lauren!” It was just she and I, sitting on the corner of the pool, dangling our feet in the water. “That's the best bathing suit ever!”
“Yeah, it's pretty rad,” she agreed.
“No,” I emphasized. “You're SO lucky! Lucky duck!” I started singing the words over and over in a singsong voice. “Lucky duck! Lucky duck! Lucky duck!” Not thinking this is getting my point across, I start playing with the words. “Lucky ducky! Lucky a'uck! Lucky buck! Luck cuck! Lucky duck! Lucky e'uck!” That one doesn't work as well, so we pause to giggle over the ridiculousness of the word I'd just invented. Seeing I have my friend's full attention, I quickly get back to the alphabet. “Lucky fuc–”
The word isn't even out of the my mouth before Lauren's jaw drops and she stares at me in horror. Her melodramatic gasp stops me mid-song.
As what I'd just done sinks in, I look slowly around to see who else might have heard me. My mom is chatting on the phone. I'm hearing words like snack, troop, girls, September. She must be talking to Mrs. Lillis, her co-leader for my Brownie troop. My head swivels in search of my sister; she'd tattle on me for sure. I'm clear. She's elsewhere doing whatever it is five year olds do.
“Lucky guck! Lucky huck! Lucky iuck!”
If you're willing to leave concrit (thanks!) can you please tell me one thing specifically? Reading it back now, the opening feels a little bitchy to me; like we thought we were SO COOL for having a pool in our backyard, but it wasn't like that at all… it was just a fact. We had the pool where all of our friends chose to hang out…