Pink pastel smears; dawnlight dapples the lake.  A young White guy and an old Asian guy fluidly synchronize tai chi.  Elongated shadows flirt.

Sun shrinks as it climbs, burning a black circle into my vision, which remains on the back of my eyelids as I close them.

I enter – short gasping breaths.

Bobbing like a crocodile, only eyes and nose above the waterline, body temperature falling to lake equilibrium.

Ashore, hot slabs bake.

Basking awhile sounds fine first, but.

On the way I met a ladybug floundering, wet wings impossibly heavy for flight, and gave her a lift on my fist.  Gently one-armed paddled us in.  I offered her a rock when we got there, but instead she clung to my knuckle, insecure about her potential.  Softly, lovingly, but surely, decisively, I flicked her.  She landed shell-side down.  Kicked futilely, desperately, scrabbling six legs on sky.  I watched her patiently until.  Her body popped open, unleashing a gossamer flurry.  Overcoming an upside-down turtleing, achieving flight purely by will, she headed straight back to sea.


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