On Sunday Chris and I went to the zoo, like we’d been wanting to do all summer, and so what if it’s not summer any more? There are only two slight disadvantages to going to Brookfield Zoo in the fall, which is that the flamingos are in storage and Baboon Island is deserted. (You really need to see Baboon Island. It’s like the animal equivalent of MTV Spring Break. And do they even air that anymore? I have no idea.) There was a sign that said “The Baboons are having their annual medical check-up,” and I imagined all the baboons lining up to board a big school bus driven by a kindly nurse. Mentally I am still eight years old when I go to the zoo.
We saw the monkeys and the penguins, like probably everyone else does, and we saw a traumatic video of a giraffe being born. (It just falls out! In this bag! Like chips in a vending machine! Only freakier!) We saw this little African deer thingy, I don’t rememember what it’s called, standing practically sideways on a rock, chewing and chewing and chewing. We overheard all kinds of hastily made-up animal facts from parents of little kids. (“I think the rhino is getting ready to hibernate, Tyler, and that’s why it won’t come out.”) We followed around a peacock (aka Nature’s Bling). We stayed until just before dark, when the zoo grounds were getting deserted and spooky and lovely. I have so much to do, so very much to do, so many things every single freaking day these days, but I liked Sunday.
One of the many things is swimming. When I was at Ragdale last month I started going to a pool at a nearby college in the mornings (well, okay, so I went twice), and I liked it so much I started using the pool at my gym. I like it because all you need to remember to pack is your suit, and when you get to the pool there is no aimless wandering around like on the gym floor; there is no thing you have to get on, or wait for; no TVs or magazines that you feel you should look at while you’re waiting to get off whatever thing that you waited to get on. When you’re in a pool, the only thing you have to do is stay alive. And it turns out I’m pretty good at doing that.