The Pool on the Roof

This is from Notes To Stephanie: Days Remembered.  It is a bit haunting but life has moments like that.

Another day I fondly remember is the day we stayed in San Antonio on the way back to Fort Worth from Laredo. As you know, I never liked Laredo itself much, but San Antonio was a place I enjoyed. So being able to spend a little time there was something I looked forward to.

After leaving Laredo and arriving in The Alamo City, I was pleased with the hotel we chose to stay in.  The room was nice, and the place was convenient to the River Walk along with being close to the Mercado and the famous Mi Tierra restaurant.  But my favorite thing was the swimming pool on the roof of the place.  “A pool with a view,” one might say, tweaking the old phrase about a room with a view.

So to relax before having dinner some place on the River Walk, we put on our swimming suits, grabbed a towel, and took the elevator up to the top of the building.

Up there we could see the sweep of the city and the hill country to the west.  The city itself was laid out around us, nestled between the hills sloping up to the west. The day was bright and sunny with some high clouds strewn above us, flowing from the southwest.  It was a bit hot, but what day in the Texas summer isn’t? At least the humidity was low.  There were people there with their kids, other couples, and some folks not so attached.  The water was cool as I remember, and we jumped in.

The Jacuzzi was going, too, and its jets felt good after the drive from the Rio Grande that morning. I remember looking around at the city and you again.  You seemed to be at ease, which was something I had wondered about, since the city we were in was where the people, who adopted you when you were a little girl, tried to kill you.  I wondered what was going through your mind sometimes when you looked out in silence at the view stretching to the horizon.  Were you thinking about that nightmare or something else like the winter day you were in downtown in the cold and managed to get a cup of hot cocoa?  I did not ask you what you were thinking since the people around us did not need to know about those things.  The day was so wonderful; bringing up the past pain might have spoiled the moment and caused you hurt, so I kept those thoughts to myself.

But that tells us something, doesn’t it?  Most places where we might go are filled with reminders of the past.  Some are good and some are bad.  But they are there, regardless of how they might make us feel.  We can be driving down the street and something we see reminds us of one of those times.  We can be most anywhere, and these thoughts will surface from the depths of our personal memories.  Not going to places where these thoughts lurk is impossible since they are everywhere.  Staying away from memories and the places they come from is never possible to do.  Thus, if we never went to places or experienced new things, we wouldn’t be living after all.  The memories, whether good or bad, found on any given day and at any place are the costs and benefits of being alive.  And that day on top of a building in San Antonio in a swimming pool with you was one of those wonderful days that provided me with a set of good  memories that are still with me today.

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