The Swimmer

by Jake Barnes

He got tired of the pool party, the chit-chat, the suburban posturing, and he decided to swim home. All the neighbors had swimming pools. He'd just dive into the first one, swim the length of the pool, get out of the water and make his way through the hedge to the next one. It would be fun. Something different.


He was having a good time until he came to the Cheever's backyard. Oh, oh. He had forgotten; they didn't have a pool. What was he going to do? He looked up and there was Mrs. Cheever sitting in a lawn chair in the sun. She was wearing sunglasses and very little else. Hmm. Fine looking woman. Broad where a broad should be broad. He had never noticed before.


He stood there dripping water, and looking rather stupid, if the truth be told. Mrs. C. looked up from her magazine, a copy of Better Homes and Gardens, and smiled. She invited him to sit down and have a drink. He did. At the end of the day, he decided to stay. His wife had moved out the previous week. Taken all the furniture, too.


He told Mrs. C. this, and she said what a coincidence. Her husband had moved out, too. He was living with his tootsie in a cheap apartment in Manhattan. She invited him to stay, and he did. Why not? He and his new friend got along swimmingly.