Freestyle by Len Joy

After Lisa’ s stroke, Clancy had started taking Masters Swim classes every morning at the River East Y.

Five days a week for the last four years -- he never missed a workout. At first he struggled to even finish a 200. Now he swam ten 200s at four minute intervals. He turned sixty last summer and was in the best shape of his life.

When Clancy walked onto the pool-deck, Erica, the German girl who shared the slow-swimmers lane with Clancy and old Sam, was swimming all alone -- a portrait of youthful vitality in her modest, black two-piece. Sam, with his genital-revealing saggy blue Speedo, had stayed home.

“Hi, Clancy," Erica said as he jumped into the pool. She pushed her goggles up to her forehead. Clancy thought she had very pretty eyes. Wet curls peeked from her cap. “No Sam today, so we can just split the lane, yes?"

“Sounds good," Clancy said, shivering. “Try not to lap me too many times."

She smiled, fixed her goggles, and they were off. Clancy breathed on his left side, so on the outbound lap his face was inches from Erica’s body. She was flat-chested, but lean and sinewy, with a perfectly rounded butt. Clancy slowed his stroke and extended his glide a fraction longer so he could watch the
bubbles roll down her back.

On the return lap, Clancy breathed toward the sidewall and thought about Lisa waiting for him at Cedar Rest.


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