As I dissolved by the pool late this morning, sinking into blissful serenity beneath the blazing sun in the crystal sky, I heard approaching voices, the strident exclamations and fricative utterances of children.
Children are not typical here. Nor was it long before their corporate gusto changed to the customary puerile accusations and confrontations. They did however have the courtesy to use the strainers to collect some of the debris of vegetation which had fallen to the bottom of the pool following last night’s rain storm. Otherwise they monopolized the pool, boisterously jumping into the water à la canon ball, commensurately identifying the water as both cool and warm. One clung to a propelled plastic surf board, gliding from one end of the pool to the other; while others raced around the pool, slapping their bare feet on the cement, before gleefully plunging back into the water. One boy, a self-declared coach, assumed the role of explaining the trumped up rules of a preposterous game which immediately went unnoticed by the others. Another shouted, repeatedly in escalating loudness, “Give it back!” (referring to a football). He continued his demand like clockwork until finally recognizing its inutility. He then translated his failure into a drama of tears. This in turn brought a parent from the side to the edge of the pool where she instructed the boys to get along together, an equally meaningless decree.
Lord of the Flies is a 1954 novel by the Nobel Prize-winning British author William Golding. The plot concerns a group of British boys who are stranded on an uninhabited island and their disastrous attempts to govern themselves. Themes include the tension between groupthink and individuality, between rational and emotional reactions, and between morality and immorality.
I am guessing this crowd of young families is here for a holiday because I have yet to hear anyone scream grandma or grandpa.
Later in the afternoon other adults began to arrive. With the exception of two, none of them was familiar to me. As I was leaving, a middle aged woman secured the chaise longue adjacent my own. She quipped she was from the east coast, New York City, and that I had already taken too much tan. I told her one merely needed the right ingredient. When she asked what it was, I said, “Indolence”. She twisted her head but didn’t reply. This suggested to me that she hadn’t captured the thrust of my response so I let it go, not wishing to add misconstruction to the summary dialogue between us.