Six adults are wading the waters of the paddling pool. One of them, who I like to refer to as Curly Carl, is banging on a bucket so loud it sounds like thunder in a vase. Until his blond-haired friend comes in and rips the bucket from underneath his banging device and puts it on his head, now they both laugh louder than the thunder.
I’m at my first day at work. At my schoolgirls job. As a pool girl. Wrinkly old people trying to stay afloat, red-eyed children emerging from the water and all I have to do is make sure nobody stays at the bottom. I’m spooked, ‘hi, I’m Wanda,’ a bushy perm haired blue bathrobe hung person suddenly stands next to me. Her eyebrows are shaped in a V between her small eyes. I blink. And she’s gone. And suddenly I get an itch down my back.
Focus. Nobody on the bottom? No. Old people still floating? Yes. Children still jumping? Yes. Six adults still in the paddling pool? 1,2,3,4,5… Oh, no, where’s Curly Carl? I can’t find him, my favo drummo. But then I suddenly see a pair of blue shorts sticking to the giant clown. Curly Carl is hugging him as if he’s a teddy bear. To me he rather looks like The It from Stephen King with his huge red smile that spouts water every ten minutes. But Curly Carl seems blissfully happy, so I give him a thumbs up. And now his smile is almost as big as the clowns.
‘You look like my sister.’ Bushy Wanda is back.
‘Don’t listen to her, she’s in a happy mood because she got a wet drawer last night.’ And she brought a friend, Smacking Simone, who’s fake teeth are so loose you can almost hear the clap with every word. They are dressed like twins in their blue bathrobes.
‘We have to go.’ clap clap.
‘Bye,’ scratch scratch. And my itch is moving up my spine, all the way up my neck.
There’s a guy with an enormous hunchback that aims for the bucket with the beat, me and my itch are watching him closely. He has no beat with the bucket, so he scans the shallow waters for the original bucket and the beat banger, Culry Carl. Now there’s a beat and a bounce and a spout and they got a real pool party going on, Curly Carl, the hunchback, their blond friend and the freaky clown.
And at the side of the pool I see Bushy Wanda standing. Legs spread, hands in her sides, neck forward, V on her forehead; it looks like she’s trying to hypnotize The It. But then she turns her V to me, ‘lunchtime,’ she shouts. I blink. I totter. I steeple. She a colleague? So. Many. Itches!