on swimming

"You’re my swimming pool," he said.

I smiled. "What does that mean?"

He blushed.  "It’s a long story."

I poked him. "We have time."

We were somewhere between Ohio and Nebraska, on the way to the Burning Man Festival in Black Rock City, Nevada. Griff and Jim were up front, and Alan and I sat on the couch in the back of the RV. We had already been on the road for about 36 hours. I’d been asleep for most of it, which became a topic of awe and amazement to the others.

Alan wrapped his arms around me and spoke into my ear so I could hear him over the loud rumble of the RV, and also so I would know he was speaking to only me."Well," he said, "When you swim in a swimming pool, you’re completely immersed in the water. It covers you, it seeps into your skin, gets in your ears and nose and eyes. But no matter how long you swim, when you come out, you haven’t become a swimming pool – you’re still you…" He paused. I waited. "You’re my swimming pool. I can totally immerse myself in you, but I’m still me… That’s one of the reasons I love you so much."

I squeezed his hand, and he tightened his arms around me, and I immersed myself in him, and still knew who I was, and I loved him more than I did only moments before.