I never saw my Grandma K in a bathing suit so I made the assumption that older people aren’t allowed to go in the water. Maybe something would happen to their thin bones or papery skin, maybe their organs couldn’t stand up to being emerged in water; I wasn’t certain.

My grandparents each had their own bedroom, side by side, each with a single bed on top of golden shag carpeting. My Grandma K’s floor was covered with a forest of paper bags. Her filing system.

One year the women in my family went on a “girl’s getaway” together. I saw my Grandma K walk out of our hotel room bathroom in a black bra and slip.

I spent most of the trip swimming along the bottom of the hotel pool. I scraped the bridge of my nose on the blue concrete. My grandmother, watching me from a deck chair came over next to the pool and dipped her hand in the water and said, “just the temperature I like it” leaving me to wonder how she would know.


Kerry D. Martin