Non Medias Res
At this point in my story, this much I know for sure: I’m way too big for a pink plastic Barbie pool. At 6’4”, 250 lbs, even if I sit cross-legged and squeeze my knees together withmy elbows, I can only manage to get my ankles and rear-end wet. When I sit down most of the water rises up and spills out, soaking into the brittlegrass. I flop around in the pool and realize—vaguely at first, in the way that you realize your fly is open only by the way people are staring at your crotch—that to a passerby Iprobably look like a hairless wildebeest rolling around in a puddle on the hot savannah, a tanker-ship in dry-dock, a square peg in a round hole. I look like a jerk just wasting water.But I don’t care how I appear, because even a little water can save you in this heat.Rachel points at me and laughs—one of those big toothy wide-mouth laughs. “Ohmy God,” she says, “You’re hilarious.” It seems cruel. But she has room to laugh. She’s tiny, about half my size. She fits inthe pool just fine. It’s positively luxurious for her. She floats like a water bug on her back,paddling her little legs around and mocking me. “That’s just wrong,” I say when sheshows off by submerging her entire body. She splashes me playfully as she climbs out andthe water feels so cold on my skin that it burns, leaving a smattering of wet fire across my legs and belly.