The Endless Pool
There we are, lying in bed. Day 46 of quarantine. Night 2 of going to sleep with an empty blanket at the foot of the bed. Three days ago, we were going for walks and teaching tricks to our beloved nine year old dog. Then suddenly, we were at the vet, kissing her goodbye for the last time. Now, the world was rent in two.
“All I want,” my husband moans, “is to go for a swim. To take a break from being sad. Remember when we would go swim three days a week? Now instead of the Freshman Fifteen, we’re working our way toward the Covid Nineteen, am I right?”
I try to laugh, and put my tear-stained face close to his. “I know. It hurts so bad. Our stationary bike isn’t making it better, either.” An idea springs forward in my mind. “I wish they made a stationary pool.”
“A stationary pool? Like a treadmill, but a pool. It would have a current, and you could just swim against it. Wouldn’t need to be all that big. Why don’t they make those?”
“Actually, they might.”
“How much do you think something like that would cost?”
Mike reaches for his phone on the nightstand, and a quick search reveals something called an Endless Pool for sale for $4,595.
$4,595 is a lot of money, but not so much money as to be totally out of the question. If we wanted to make an Endless Pool happen, we could make it happen. What began as a ridiculous, just-for-fun internet search has suddenly become a much more serious conversation than either of us were planning to have. The Endless Pool is actually within reach.
Through the darkness, I feel myself making what we call, the Grocery Store Face. The Grocery Store Face is timeless. All around the world, since the dawn of time, couples have both wielded and fought against the Grocery Store Face. At supermarkets, garage sales, boat shows, petting zoos, Costco, and Home Depot, the Grocery Store Face can be found: it’s not on the list, but now that I’ve seen it, I just have to have it - and you’d be a monster to deny me this happiness.
Mike is wise to me. “Grocery Store Face?”
We poke around some more, and come to the Endless Pool Swim Machine website. Image after image of beautiful people and beautiful pools flood the phone. We view the three different models: E500, E700, and E2000. The E2000 model is a 20’ long vessel that is part pool, part hot tub. Obviously, we’d like that one, but we decide to research the mid-grade model instead. We are practical people, after all.
That there is no pricing on the website does not concern us. The promotional videos are full of gorgeous people in palatial homes, but we don’t care. They glide across their sweeping lawns towards their Endless Pool for a sunset swim. Our lawn is anything but sweeping - and looks to be made of broom bristles - but these are trivial matters.
We watch a few more videos. We watch some independent reviews on Youtube. We browse the optional accessories. Where would we put our Endless Pool? We’d need to pour a concrete pad in the yard, and probably have to crane it over the house. Good thing we both work in construction - Mike can get the concrete for cheap, and I can work my contacts for a crane rental. The HOA would probably have to sign off, but that’s a minor detail, and our neighbor down the street is the president. Does the pool subcontractor from my last project distribute Endless Pools? I make a mental note to call him tomorrow and check. All told, we’d probably be in it about $6,500. If we moved some things around in our savings, we could have our pool in two months.
As we read about the ordering process, 45 minutes into this research project, a shadow briefly crosses my mind. It’s too complex for a $5,000 purchase. Something doesn’t seem quite right. Something seems amiss.
“Which model did we see for sale?” I ask. “Can you go back to that very first page?”
Mike has a hard time finding the Endless Pool for sale. The shadow in my mind grows. Finally, he finds it again.
“Here it is - $4,595. Do you see a model number anywhere? I can’t tell from the picture.”
I study the listing, and I see what I had missed before. The shadow swells, swallows me whole, and my dreams are crushed upon the rocks as waves of disappointment, embarrassment, and hilarity crash overhead. Of course we're not getting an Endless Pool. How could we have been so naive? There is nothing to do but laugh.
“Mike - we’re idiots. The listing isn’t for the pool itself. The listing is only for the cover.”