Soon We’ll Be Swimming

It was the dead of summer and I was working at a house on the ocean. Things with cement in NJ. The beach behind the house was private. There weren’t any signs letting you know it was private, but there was no way to get on the beach unless you passed through the serious gates at the front of the property and snuck though yard, or if you walked along the beach from another part of the world. Or if you swam across the ocean from Portugal, Spain, Morocco …

There were carpenters working on the house. They brought their lunch boxes every day and they did not listen to a radio. They were quiet and respectful of the homeowners even though the homeowners were not there and would not be there ever, probably because this was just one of a bucketful of houses they owned.  

I took my shoes off and my shirt and one of the carpenter’s said, “What are you doing?” 

“Going swimming in the ocean.” 

“That’s not a good idea.” 

There were eight carpenters sitting on the deck eating their sandwiches. They were sweating like crazy. They looked like beaten dogs. 

“The ocean is good,” I said.

I went through the back gate and down onto the sand and there was no one around. I mean I could look a mile to the right and see no neon the sand. I could look a mile to the left and see no one on the sand. It was a perfect summer day once you got down there by the surf and the breeze. And once you got into the water, where you weren’t supposed to be. 


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