In the locker room, I realize I don’t have my goggles.Coming outside to the pool, I see the dark college lifeguard is talking with a woman in the lane with the ladders. She is round and blond with pink skin. They are friendly and acknowledge me as I sit on the edge getting ready to go in.
I comment on forgetting my goggles and the lifeguard offers a box of goggles I can borrow. As I begin to look, the woman offers me her goggles which she explains are brand newish. Most of the ones in the box are broken at the nose. Before I know if all of them are broken, I put the guard box down and accept the pink woman’s goggles. The strap is the thinnest I’ve ever seen. It is made of linguini shaped translucent off white plastic with sparkles.
When I first put these over my eyes and enter my dry face into the water, all air is suctioned in, water tight. At the end of the watertight lap, I slide the goggles to the top of my head to do backstroke. I like to alternate between freestyle and backstroke which lifts for me the boredom of swimming. At the end of backstroke I pull the goggles down from my wet hair to my eyes.
They don’t fit. Not at all. Water seeps in near the nose so I swim the freestyle laps with one eye winking open and closed as my head goes in and out of the water with my breath. The goggles help some but do not allow me to see clearly.
I see clearly when I am doing backstroke, facing the sky and what I see clearly is nothing.