Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Sunday at the Springs

Kate and I have cultivated something of a ritual this summer. At some point during the weekend, she will ask me if I want to go swimming at Barton Springs Pool. I will immediately go into anxiety mode and start rambling about all my undone chores and encroaching deadlines. I will also complain about crowds and parking, which will sometimes spiral into a caffeinated rant about modern life in general that ends in the conclusion that I suck for being so deft at coming up with reasons why I don’t want to do anything.

Nevertheless, Kate will persist and convince me that it is in my best interest to go swimming. So we’ll drive down to Barton Springs and park in the gravel lot off Robert E. Lee because I’m too cheap to pay $3 to park next to the main entrance. We’ll get our towels situated in the shade on the grassy hillside overlooking the pool. Then Kate will walk down to the pool and dive in. I’ll stand at the edge for what seems like several minutes, not wanting to jump in because I know it will be cold as hell.

Once the desire to avoid looking like a wuss has thoroughly overwhelmed me, I jump in. Time slows as my feet leave the edge and gravity beckons my white ass down into the greenish water. Once I’m submerged, all my anxieties cease. Deadlines and insecurities mean nothing. The only thing on my mind is how cold the water is. Every plunge into Barton Springs is a moment of clarity.

Eventually, discomfort gives way to relaxation as my body realizes the cold water is actually a fine elixir to the oppressive heat. I alternate between floating on my back and frolicking with Kate. When I climb out of the water, my skin buzzes in the heat, my core temperature seems noticeably lower and my brain feels like it has been rebooted.

As we leave, I thank Kate for pressing the issue and tell her for the umpteenth time that I only swam in Barton Springs once in 19 years of living in Austin before I met her. I tell her to remind me about how much I enjoyed myself next time I resist going to Barton Springs, knowing full well the entire ritual will repeat itself the following weekend.

1 comment:

stacey said...

Maybe this is what I need to cure my own "Sunday Night Freak Out" as my husband calls it. Did you know that at 9pm Barton Springs is free?