July 11 – Deep Eddy

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After hearing the odds of my suitcase arriving had slimmed, I decided I wanted to cleanse the dark cloud of despair that enveloped my shabbily-dressed body with full immersion in the deep end of Barton Springs.

I arrived only to find the Spring was closed for algae and weed removal. Of all the emotionally desperate yet clement days!

A chain link fence defines the perimeter of Barton Springs. The spring continues outside the fence, becoming shallower and more fetid. Dogs are welcome in this area, and people who don’t want to pay three dollars.

It was crowded and smelled like manure. A one-man drum circle played beneath an umbrella, a few feet away from an old, shirtless man serenading the crowd on a beat-up guitar. Gathered in a circle just off the path next to the springs, a group of aging runaways asked passers-by for spare beer. “This simply won’t do!” I cried, pausing to sniff some smelling salts before mincing back to the car.

Deep Eddy is a nearby alternative to Barton Springs. It is smaller than Barton Springs, with more lanes designated for dedicated lap-swimmers, their shining bathing suit bottoms glinting in the sun as they did forward rolls at the end of each lap. Behold the lovely mural on the far side of the pool.

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Feeling pretty blue, I lowered myself into the bright green water. After just a couple half-hearted laps, the lifeguards energetically tooted everyone out of the water. The algae making the water green had grown so thick the bottom of the pool was no longer visible. For fear of draining the pool only to find it littered with corpses, they ordered everyone out, making no announcement of when the pool might be open again.

I went home and for the next couple of hours pouted mightily, mustering up only just enough energy to apply for a one-week “accountability buddy” position over Craigslist. A few minutes after I submitted my application, my services were enlisted.

To celebrate, I got my shit together and made some pasta. Little did I know that pasta foreshadowed the shit out of the next seven days, during which I would hear more about simple carbohydrates than I had during the rest of all the other days of my life combined.

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