Swimming at the spa hotel

Drinking some champagne and gallivanting to the pool. We are so brave and so big, hand in hand and smoking loops past the chalets. I’ll say it if no one else will – we are incorrigible!

We thrash in the water and he lets me win a length, I think because it’s my birthday. I haven’t brought conditioner so I know I will look ratty at the restaurant, and there is a delight in that. I push him under water by accident, afraid of my power then.

He’s coming at me in the pool dancing a Big Bopper and singing and I feel it creating a seed of itself in my head, the happiest moment of my entire life. There can be no downhill from here: there is no hill, only pool. 

I’m on call for bad news, but it doesn’t come and I stop checking my emails for it. Drink wine and eat ice cream instead, everything is a weightless balloon.

Days later, I’m sitting in the salon in my short shorts having my eyebrows threaded. The radio news’s first article is about trans women being banned from competitive cycling. I still expect heads to turn to me for reaction but they don’t anymore. Regardless, my cheeks flush and betray me, out me, and I wince under the threader’s fingers as she goes ham.

I cycle home for a meeting, weaving a song round the cars, and under the sun where I am free and light and happy, my eyelids bleed and start to crust and it feels like punishment for a crime I don’t know how I’ve committed.

Leave a Comment