7am – the alarm goes off. Buzzing. Not music. Music never worked for me. Not since I started waking up on my own. The covers are off and I pull on my swimsuit in seconds. It’s a summer morning and I’m going swimming. No shower. Showers don’t work in the summer because the bathroom gets hot. The water fluctuates and then I’m tense before 8am. Not good.I bike to the lake, only a quarter mile away. My towel is around my neck keeping my bare chest warm. I take the easy route, down the hill to the left of my driveway and bank hard around the right hand turn. The wind feels fresh on my face. Most of the neighbors aren’t out yet. They’re still sleeping or drinking coffee in their kitchen alcoves. I don’t know. Their sprinklers are on.
The sand is cold. The water is still until I step into the waters edge and watch ripples radiate out towards the rising sun. There’s an orange glow that softens to yellow as it rises into the scattered clouds. There is a silhouette of a sailboat to my left. It is still. Gray. Taller and perpendicular to the horizon. It’s the left margin of my morning. To the right is a dock. Part old and part new. This is easy to tell. The new wood is yellow. The old, gray.
I’m only testing the water. I don’t walk in. I jump. I walk out the dock stepping around seagull droppings and holes large enough to catch my large toes. The dock sways a little – like I’m on a boat. I find the spot where I hid shampoo on a shelf under the dock and drop my towel.
The morning sounds have been limited. An alarm. Air racing by on my bike ride. A car driving by above the beach. The crunch of rocks under my feet. The creaking of the dock.