Red Lip

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I first saw this pool in 2009. Cloudy November. The cold would soon call to us. Winds ripped at the trees, as I stood beside the truck looking at the property. I had already pulled myself up and peered over the block wall. Rossmore kidney pool. Red coping. The blue tiles were barely visible due to the pea-green colored water that filled the old pool. I looked the house over and noted the trash piled up, tattered sheets over the windows and the grip of neglect that wrapped the house in dirty arms. I could see no signs of life. I wedged open the back gate and took my pump inside. I moved slowly, like I was in a dream. An hour went past. Tick tock. No one bothered me and nothing existed except the gurgle of the hoses and the low rumble of the pump. I brushed the walls of the pool with a sidewalk broom to remove algae as it drained. The pump had dropped the water level about halfway and the shallow end was looking pretty good. I was pushing the broom in the shallow end, removing green muck, when I heard a voice. It startled me. “What do you think you are doing?” I was looking into the face of an elderly woman. She had the back door partially open and her eyes darted from my face, to the pool, and back again. She seemed as shocked by my presence as I was of hers.

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The pump suddenly sounded much louder than it had been before. My blood thrummed. Conflict. I switched off the pump. “I didn’t know anyone lived here.” I started. I smiled at her. I told her my name was Hugh Jorgan, as I usually did in such situations. It kept the smile on my face. She looked confused. “I work with Vector Control. We pump out filthy pools that harbor mosquitoes.” I could tell that she wasn’t really buying my story. I moved over to the pump and started collecting my things together. This was not going well. Over my shoulder I quickly stated, “I’ll have my employer call you and explain the need to have the pool emptied.” She moved back inside and locked the door. I felt that she might be phoning someone. Someone in law enforcement. My pace quickened. I gathered the hoses and threw everything into my truck in a pile. I saw her eyes watching me from inside the house. I was the insect and she was the spider. Web of my own making. I grabbed the pump and made my retreat.

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Later that night, I thought about the pool. The transitions were really starting to show as I drained it. I guess it would have to wait for another day… if ever. Fast forward. April 2015. KB, Shawn, Gopa, Scott and I were out rolling around. We rode several pools that day. It was getting late and KB said that he knew of one we might hit for a thirty minute session. A house remodel. The owner was no longer living there. A day laborer stayed there and for a little quick cash, we might get some grinds. A new pool is always fun and we headed over.

Kevin Burke

Kevin Burke

Gopa Ahringhoff

Gopa Ahringhoff

Shawn Ahringhoff

Shawn Ahringhoff

Me

Me

When we pulled up, I laughed to myself. I thought of the old lady all those years ago… I periodically wondered if I’d ever get to ride that old red-lipped pool. I guess the time was now. Thanks to the IE guys for draining it, thanks to KB for the heads up and thank you to Scott Ward for the images. Skate- Ozzie

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