Open Water

By Angela Spires

Since I didn’t believe in Fitbits, I walked at a brisk pace with my PokemonGo App tracking my ‘steps.’ My friend Tee, having just finished an hour of dancing, joined me. She shook her head at my game, that would interest her grandchildren, but we unwound differently. Warm night air blew past providing the perfect amount of breeze. Most nights held this ideal temperature by the Truckee River downtown. Tee’s feet ached and she wanted to dip them in the water. At Wingfield Park, we made our way down to the river. I didn’t especially like rivers or bodies of water in general. Actually, I hated being in open waters, mainly because of an irrational fear of things that lived there. Perhaps this came from watching horror movies at an early age. But what could possibly be lethal in a few inches of water? Hesitantly, I submerged my feet as well.

“This isn’t enough,” Tee said. “I’m going to sit on that rock.” She pointed at a rock covered in water and forming the curve of a slide. Slick and smooth, the water poured over it. Not caring about her skirt getting wet, she walked to the rock and sat, water surrounding her legs, feet submerged. “Come on,” she said. “You can do it.” I simultaneously admired the action and thought she was a little crazy.

Uncertainly, I made my way to her and sat. My heart raced. My capris quickly absorbed the cool water, the stone welcoming like a backless recliner. I slid a little further in and followed as Tee pointed out the yellow star that was actually Mars. The water brought a warmth and safety to me that I hadn’t expected and I let it wash over me, unknown, but safe, and we continued to talk.

Featured photo by Cessie Pulleyn