He stopped swimming, and floated in the middle of the pool. I watched him closely, the long thin line of body broken by the blue of his swimming trunks. Then I imagined the trunks gone. It was easy, really, but almost unbearable. He started to swim again, towards me, then tumbled over at the end, and started up the other way. And he kept on, lap after lap. It was good to watch. Mesmerising. But that’s all it was. Over and over. I became a little bored. Maybe not bored, but it wasn’t going anywhere, so I went inside to break it up, and I bought a coffee and a sandwich from the vending machines. I took them back out to the pool, to where I’d been sitting. But it had all changed. The water was flat and still. The pool, empty. He was gone, the swimmer. He would have climbed out of the water, and pulled his goggles to the top of his head. Stood there dripping, looking around. He’d have grabbed his towel from the lounger, and gone back to his room, to sleep or to masturbate, or to listen to music, or read. And if I hadn’t been inside getting the coffee and the sandwich, I could have started talking to him, telling him what a good swimmer he was. It’s a valid reason to start a conversation. You’re a terrific swimmer. Who wouldn’t want to hear something like that? I watched him all that time, then I go to get something to eat, and … nothing. The end. Well, that’s the way it goes. It was meant to be, I suppose. That’s the consolation.