The soft cushions, the filtered light fell upon the faded, dusty dark carpet. “She was a good woman, your Grandmother, she taught me a lot,” said Jenna, trying to comfort me in my despair. I didn’t reply because it would encourage more of her pointless words of sympathy, adding to the awkwardness of the situation. “Would you like to hear about our experience at the lake in the summer of 1965? ” Jenna exclaimed.
Although I did not want more pathetic words of comfort, this comment intrigued me and the temptation was too great to not hear her story. No I haven’t, please go on…” I replied, trying not to act excited, when in fact, I was twitching with anticipation, mainly because I did not know what my Grandma was like before I was born. “It was January 24th of 1965, and we had spent most of the day together with Geoff; your grandfather. We were sitting of the faded beachwood porch drinking lemonade and listening to the horse races on the my new radio.
Through the air drifted the hot sweet scent of a batch of your Grandmother’s scones. I remembered her scones, A lifetime spent making these scones ensured their delectable integrity, and just hearing of her scones again was enough to spur my saliva into action. “On the porch, the blistering sun pierced the gauze, and hammered onto our skin. As our skin sizzled, it was only normal to lather large amounts of coconut oil onto the skin; producing the crispy, golden glow which was a major trend in those days. We lit our cigarettes, inhaling the bitter taste of tobacco, our tongues glossed with tar.
Now I look back on those days not regretful, but admiring our innocence; innocent due to our little worry in the world. “Who wants to go to the lake today? ” Geoff exclaimed, reassuring I wasn’t the only one sweltering in this heat. “Sure, why not? The water would work wonders for my exhaustion. So we packed up the bathers and packed the Kombi with some fresh cream, strawberry jam and the batch of scones. I remember the day so vividly due to the unearthly presence of life in the trees.
We drove along the winding road, it was stifling, so my head was out the window being graced with the afternoon breeze. My hair flapped in the wind, it sent cool shivers through my body like frozen water trickling down my spine. It was refreshing. If there ever was a moment in my life where I was free, it was now. I didn’t have to worry about a thing in the world. We arrived at the lake, the clouds glistened in the clear undisturbed sharp surface of the water. Without any hesitation, I insisted we put our bathers on before anything else. Unlike my skin, the air was bone dry.
My clothes were clinging to my body, as if trying to absorb my sweat and keep themselves cool. With trouble, my clothes released there soggy grip on my body and I slipped my new bathers on; a birthday gift. I saw the rickety tinny jettie, one which shared many fond memories with myself in my young days. It too was feeling the heat and instead of perspiring, it left jagged splinters riddled across the top leaving a minefield to run through. Your grandmother and I dived into the water simultaneously. Once submerged, I felt the chilling reeds wrap themselves around my delicate legs.
I looked down to where the sensation was coming from, and amongst the brown murky mess below me, I could see black shadows of the tips of the reeds. Just the sight was enough to send shivers through my bones, and not the kind that I experienced with my head out of the Kombi window. With a quick jolt, I was out of their grasp. When the sun began to set through the pine forest, it left polka dot light spots embedded all through the dark shadow made from the trees, which covered the entire lake. The afternoon was consumed with more swimming and we decided to eat the scones.
Almost as warm as they were when they came out of the oven, they melted on our tongues. Once full with the scones, I decided to cool myself off for a final time before heading back to the house. With the shadow of the trees engulfing the remaining light I didn’t have long to swim. “Don’t swim for too long, the food could make you cramp”, exclaimed your grandmother, naturally cautious as always. I leapt into the lake with outstretched arms, ready to feel the cool liquid hit my body at once. I disregarded the reeds from last time, and jumped high, allowing me to go deeper than last time.