I took a bit of time yesterday to pull a handful of leaves from the swimming pool that had settled to the bottom. As I poked the long pole with the net deep into the blue water, I thought about how calming a placid pool can be. The little ripples as the breeze blew across it from out of the south. My cat Britney, taking a long drink of pool water as she hung her head over the edge. The reflection of the sun, broken up and dappling the wall of the house. Calming, very calming. That bit of reverie then made me think about all the good times I have had in the past, floating and swimming in that pool. I remembered the parties and friends splashing around in it, sometimes sans trunks. All this almost made me sorry that at some point we will no longer have this swimming pool in our back yard. But then the dark clouds started to gather. There was the giant black stain at the bottom of the deep end that had made it hard to show to prospective buyers. Then I thought about the approximately two thousand dollars it cost me every year just to maintain it and run the electric pump. Finally I thought about the catastrophes that had fallen upon me because of that pool. There was the hurricane in 2005, Wilma, that deposited my neighbor's shed, tree, and various yard furniture in the pool. There was the rebuilding of the shallow end after a water leak washed away the deck. Goddamn, I hate this thing. I hate every last drop of water in it, every last kilowatt of power it sucks up, and I hate the hundreds of gallons of chlorine that I have to dump in this thing. And to think, it looked so damn beautiful when I was looking to buy the property twenty three years ago.