Condensation rolls down the windows, steam floats off the pool's surface, like genies, feathered and transparent. I am five years old. There's a strange smell. It thrusts itself up my nostrils, bites both eyes like mardy wasps. We change around the edge of the pool, my clothes piled on a wooden bench. Green pants. I will always remember the green pants.
The teacher was female, stout, and bottle blonde. 'Is this her first time?' she asked. 'Yes,' I said, 'she will wear armbands, right?' It took three attempts stretching the red cap over her head, mouse brown tufts escaping its sides like grass between flagstones. A very charleston look. She followed the teacher with the other children to the edge of the pool; in someone else's hands now.