Back when i was but a wee one, some three years old, i lived in the Bay Area with my mother and her parents. Gram took care of me when Mom was at work, and it took me several months to realize that there were two of them. Pop-Pop took me on walks around the subdivision every day, all the time, pushing me in a stroller. Eventually the axle got tired of me and broke, and my mother's rolling pin went missing not long after. That rolling pin brought me ever on through the parks, by the big oak, and to the most important suburban joy of all, the swimming pool.
I loved that swimming pool maybe even more than Sesame Street and green beans. I could spend hours in it, and was a pretty good swimmer for my age. Pop would get worried when i swam underwater too long, so he'd knock on my head when it was time to come up. I would reluctantly oblige.
One day while my mother was off working at BARP (Bay Area Rapid Press, a copy shop in downtown Oakland), Pop-Pop took me out on our usual rounds. I was down in the water, eyes open, surrounded by pale blue, when suddenly there was a flash of colors in front of me—a bright swimsuit, a diving woman. I rushed to the surface to see my mom. In my surprise and excitement, i jumped out of the pool, grabbed her hand, and asked,
"Mommy mommy, do you remember before i was a little Christopher and i came down from the sky and landed in a pool of warm water and everything sounded like ducks?"
She said she did indeed remember. She says now she does still. Myself, i don't remember anymore. But i still remember that blitz of colors, plunging into the pool before me; it's the earliest thing i remember. I always will, and i'm not quite sure why. But i wish i remembered the ducks.