Afternoons, when we’ve knocked off from the banana shed, we spend hours in the pool. Matt’s in the rubber tube, a stubby of beer propped between his thighs. Sometimes the bottle flops over and pool water creeps up its neck; it doesn’t matter, he drinks it anyway. I don’t need a floatation device. I’m a starfish, my arms and legs spread wide, my hair streaming out from my skull. I lean back and let the scummy water seep into my ears. I’ve always been a floater.
I’m pretty sure drinking in the pool is not allowed, but Stan, the campground manager, lets this slide. He’s making a nice profit, charging double the price we’d pay at the off-licence. When Matt finishes his beer he hauls himself out of the tube and walks barefoot to the office. The trail of water on the concrete sizzles, and is dry before he gets back. This is the afternoon ritual: lying in tepid water, empty stubbies accumulating on the edge of the pool, the sun sinking. It’s a relief not to think about tomorrow because that’s sorted already. It’s a relief to lean back and let the water block out everything.
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