Dead Clouds

Left hand rested on the right, pointing ahead over your own, you throw body in a dive, pushed off at the legs, quickly tucked into a curl, into a ball before you SPLASH! hit the surface with a crackle, with a crunch, sending fiery waves crashing over the curb, flooding on the sidewalk. You could have incited a brushfire if you’d cast away your cigarette closer, but perhaps today’s your day.

“WATCH OUT FOR THE…pavement…,” she starts to shout with a wince, then she looks away when you make impact. “…or that homeless guy,” she quips when she returns her sight to you. She watches you swim with a look between endearment and embarrassment and ignores the crinkling cacophony you’ve made of the previously still autumn air.

“C’mon in!” you cry out. “It’s a beautiful night!” and she raises her left eyebrow in that incredulous way you find so irresistibly alluring.

“I’m pretty sure you’re swimming in hobo piss,” she counters straight-faced as you back stroke through the leaves. You stop, you shrug, you smirk and you keep swimming.

And you stop. Stuck. Frozen. Petrified like prehistoric insects trapped in amber. A look of sheer panic washes across your face. She thinks you’re kidding for a moment but you freeze your breath and suddenly it’s serious.

“…”

“What’s wrong?”

“I think I’m stuck,” and that frog in your throat snaps and croaks when you exhale.

She quickly looks around, confirms there’s no one else in the park, and offers her hand. “I told you to watch out for those creepy crazy homeless guys. They’re ever being homeless—everywhere that’s not a home, I guess.”

She shrieks only briefly through that bright, startling smile when you pull her to the ground and she thrashes through the leaf pile for a moment like the victim of a shark attack before that gorgeous laughter overcomes her and she breathes again.

“Now I’m caked in hobo piss. Thanks for that,” she groans, her eyes rolling into the ethereal arch of a brilliant crescent moon.

“Don’t blame me,” you say and stroke her hair behind her ear. “You don’t often get to float on dead clouds.”

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