Saturday, July 18, 2009

A Tumbler of Sea Glass: Series 5

Julia looked at Aunt Georgia, who was scrambling eggs with flair. "You're so different from my mom."

"How's that?" asked Aunt Georgia.

"I don't know--like, you didn't totally freak last night. My mom would've had the entire rescue squad blaring at the scene..."

Aunt Georgia snickered, and the two laughed until tears streamed down their faces.

"Everything is so serious at my house--I like it here," said Julia.

"It can get edgy here too," said Aunt Georgia. "Your mom just needs a different kind of order than I do. Sometimes my method is chaotic."

"I like chaotic," said Julia.

Julia chose her next piece of sea glass---blue, with cut edges. She used Aunt Georgia's art supplies, and penciled a canvas. She studied her hand. Stephen's grasp... Water colors began to flow over her sketches.

"Aunt Georgia, do you have a hammer?"

"Yes... in the shed."

"Great!" Julia ran to the shed with her painting and piece of sea glass. "Do you have any glue?" she called from the shed.


I can't believe I'm at a pool. Julia stood at the edge and dipped her big toe in the cold water.

"I'll push you in," said Stephen.

"Hey, I let you drag me here."

She dove in. Julia closed her eyes during her ritualistic swim underwater. It got her in trouble at swim club unless she managed to be first in the pool--a rare occurrence. She undulated like a porpoise the full 25 meters.

Flip-turn. Julia began a lilting free style. She saw Stephen approaching in the next lane. She pulled harder. Why do I care? She let off. Stephen pulled ahead. She knew he was pushing himself, but she pushed harder. It's just Stephen. Julia winced. Just Stephen?

Her lapse in concentration gave Stephen the victory. He was grinning and huffing at the wall when she glided in.

"You let me win."


"You should help me in the therapy pool--" he looked at the clock, "geez, I'm late!"

Stephen was out of the pool in one swift movement. Strong arms... Julia staved her thoughts and followed him to a smaller pool across the facility. Stephen got in the water and held his arms open to a boy hovering over the water in an odd chair-lift. A girl turned a crank to lower the boy and chair into the water where Stephen maneuvered him into floating position.

"Julia, come meet Timothy," said Stephen.

She stood next to Timothy, whose curved spine pushed everything aside, and caused his ribs to bulge. Stephen's hands were underneath Timothy's head and upper back to support him in the water.

Soon Julia was holding Timothy.

"If you twist, you can guide him through the water to stretch," said Stephen.

Julia imitated Stephen. She looked at Timothy's glistening black curls. It must feel good to get out of that wheelchair.

Timothy didn't talk, but he smiled, and Julia felt a funny tug in her heart.

Series 6 will be posted Tuesday, July 21.

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