Bottoms Up

March 14, 2012

In the summer of 1974 I was in love.

Her name was Cynthia Herron. She had braces, red hair, and a slight overbite. A consummate beauty.

I jumped at the opportunity when she invited me to a party.

It was a pool party for her 11th birthday.

Everything would have gone according to plan had it not been for that diving contest.

I hardly knew how to swim, let alone dive, but if I wanted to win her hand (and I did) I knew I would have to meet any challenge.

We formed a line behind the board. All the girls watched us guys. They whispered their picks for winners. I was third in the queue.

First up was Tommy. He was built like a can of sausages. He flew like one too. A cannonball resulted in a big splash. Cynthia was not impressed.

The second was Aaron. He was shaped like a pencil that had been broken and taped back together. He went for the jacknife. There was a loud pop as his belly hit the water. It barely pequed her interest.

Finally I was up. My heart raced. If I wanted to win I needed to make sure that I won on perfect form. that would impress her.

So I went for the perfect dive.

I put my ten-year-old toes up to the edge of the board. It felt like I were staring down the side of a building. My head was dizzy. Time slowed to a hazy ripple.

I took a breath and closed my eyes. With a bend of the knees and a hop from my heels I went floating through the air. I felt ecstasy on my dismount. The tuning fork in my mind rang with peace. I knew I was going to slide right into that pool and come out to applause.

The perfect dive.

As I entered the water I could feel total freedom. The water rushed past my ears. The cold water gripped my body. I swam out a few strokes while under before I let buoyancy release me back to the surface.

I felt so confident.

Until I realized my swim trunks were floating next to me.

 

Bottoms Up – D.A. Bancroft

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6 Responses to “Bottoms Up”


  1. Is this the story “As Ricky Would Say…” is talking about? Because if it is, I’m not sure what’s put together poorly – this is great! It’s cute, has a twist ending and your descriptions (especially of the boys and their dives) made me grin.


  2. I agree with Alexis, completely. My favorite line: “The tuning fork in my mind rang with peace.” Very funny story.


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