Stories indexed with the term ‘U.S. Census’

Column: Our Swimsuits, Ourselves

We went to Pickerel Lake on a Thursday morning because my wife wanted to swim across a lake, and Pickerel is the only jet-ski-free body of water in the area. When we arrived at the tiny shingle of beach, an old man was already there, sitting in a folding chair in his straw hat, towels draped over shoulders and lap.

We exchanged simple “hellos,” and I noticed he had an accent – maybe British or Continental, maybe Wealthy New England, hard to tell with just one word. Another family – a woman with two daughters bracketing our toddler’s age – arrived. My wife got in the water. Our three-year-old and I began digging in the muck, he in a zip-up bathing suit with built-in life vest, me in pants and a button down shirt. I don’t swim.

When I heard the old man talking with the other mother, I looked up to see him wearing an absurd swimming costume: Some sort of homemade mustard-yellow G-string, a banana-sling with two thin cords, one around his waist, the other up his butt. He was facing away, so his stringy, pale hams were to me.

And then he turned. [Full Story]