This is my pen

This is my pen, I use it every day. It’s engraving says 9ft touch.


I received this pen as a gift while working at the YMCA as a swim instructor during college. I taught private lessons to a young girl who’s only goal was to touch the bottom at the deep end.

I remember little about this girl other than flashes of her underwater with her eyes squeezed tight feverishly grasping at where she thought the bottom should be. Most of the time she was several feet shy. Sadly, I can’t remember what her expression looked like when she eventually succeeded. My brain tries to fill in the blanks but it’s doing nothing more than manufacturing filler of what I think her expression might have looked like. Memories are fickle like that. You don’t always remember the things you wish you could, but sometimes flashes of something random but vividly clear finds its way to the surface.

As is the case with my pen. Every now and again when my eye catches the engraving I’m transported back underwater watching a little girl with her right arm flailing for the bottom. I wonder sometimes if she ever flashes back to the moment where she was successful. Does she recall the feeling of accomplishment? Telling her parents? Shopping with her mother for an engraved pen? Or possibly my face when I opened the gift?


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