Saturday, August 9, 2008

By the Pool

Just back from the hotel swimming pool: six people roasting in the midday sun, all with tanned and sculpted bodies - a couple of Norwegian-looking blondes, a few Australian air stewards, and a young Kuwaiti muscleman. They pose round the edge of the pool and the Blondes occasionally splash their legs for attention.

Clearly I am the odd one out. Pale as an egg and with as much poise as an omelette, I earnestly swim up and down the pool. Every time I reach the end I find myself awkwardly close to one of the Blondes' feet. She eyes me imperiously though our eyes never meet. It is so strange and funny, with everyone staring at everyone else but no-one ever talking, that I start laughing. I swallow some water and start choking. The unreal peace of the place is momentarily disturbed.

Suddenly the door from the hotel swings open and another pale-chested mortal wanders in. He exudes self-doubt as he tries not to look upon any of the gods. I feel a surge of sympathy and realise that I am no longer alone.

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