Esther Williams

 The first inkling that my grasp of reality was less established than my fellow human beings happened while I was watching our 1961 console color TV on the floor of our Elmhurst living room, in Summer, with my parents, auntie and uncle, and the two girl cousins I pretended were my sisters, since I didn’t have any.

Swimming Movie Star Esther Williams came on the screen and since I took swimming lessons, I felt that she was like my sister, too. I am aware today that at 10 years I resembled a beach ball with sunburn while she was a bombshell in gold lame with cherry lips and curvies; but I didn’t see that. What I saw was me, as if I was her. Okay that’s confusing but I think girls who really like Beyonce or someone famous will understand.

I’m telling you I felt me arch and glide and flit and swan dive and smile and even keep my eyes open under water like Esther. I wasn’t actually swimming in my living room in real time but you get the idea. Then out of my mouth popped these words that even today makes me cringe that I let them out into real space:

“I do that!” said me. I was absolutely certain.

From the silence from every other person in our living room, I sensed we all were not sharing the same orbit.

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About Mrs. Fitz

Hello! I'm Michele Fitzpatrick, a Chicago writer. Like our town, a work in progress. As a journalist, teacher and writing coach I think all of us live our stories and sharing them creates moments that remind us we're connected. And that is enough.
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One Response to Esther Williams

  1. Anonymous says:

    I'd bring up an equally "frozen room" moment from our mutual past, but I'm still too traumatized by it to put it into words. Maybe in another four decades…Mark

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