she dreams in colour she dreams in red

It’s a miserable rainy day in San Francisco. I’m tired and a bit poorly. We’re driving to swim class. Claire, in the back seat, starts laughing her head off.

“What?” I growl.

“BLUE!” she sings. “Purple, green, red, yellow, ORANGE!”

She’s right: the rain on peoples’ sprayjackets, the neon lights in shop windows, all these saturated colours against the grey day.

Claire is nuts about her swim teacher, John. She’d swim every day if she could. Most days we wake up to: “John?” “Not today, honey, but soon.” On Fridays, though, she asks: “John?” and I say, “Yep.”

All the way to the JCCSF she sings “John! John! John!”

The whole time we’re in the lockers: “Jo-ohn! Jo-ohn!”

And then we’re in the pool, and she sees him! Oh, the humanity!


“She likes you,” I observe lamely, as she launches herself into his arms.

Later she gets all afterglowy. Salome called, and I started to tell her about this, Claire’s First Crush, then I said “No, she can tell you herself,” and put Claire on the phone.

“John,” said Claire dreamily. “John.”

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