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.