this time of year, the yearning returns for my north central florida. a lazy float down a cold, spring-fed river. a six-pack of modelo especial. hillbillies and cut-off jean shorts and jailhouse tats and tobacco-stained doors on four-wheel drives. i need to find the tubing spot around here, buy a random pool float, tie a six-pack cooler, and fight the oppressive summer heat.
swimming pools around here are a hot commodity. few homeowners have them, rarely do apartment complexes, and community pools are membership only. 28 years or so, all i had to do was call a friend or open the sliding glass door. in childhood, hop the fence and say hey to the neighbors that had them and didn't mind (too much) if a few of my friends cooled off. during cross country practice in high school, we went pool hopping on long run days when it was like slogging through soup. those days, we were often met back at school by the police and a lecture from coach fecteau or brantley, "if you do this one more time..." morphed in gainesville among the climber set to pool hopping at hotels and apartment complexes, late night swims were a risky gambit, but security always asked us to leave, nothing more. we often knew someone who lived there, so it wasn't a problem. last year, we could throw the proverbial stone and hit our pool. a three a.m. impromptu swim at our pool after our going away party was the last in the era. i'm searching for that lax security around here, but something tells me "boys will be boys" is more of a southern attitude towards late-night pool trespassing.
bring on the summer. bring on the water.