Pools = relaxation. It's as simple as that. Over-chlorinated, attached to a motel, Olympic-sized and full of dog-paddling, rubber cap-wearing retirees - I don't care. They are a sign of abundance - of money, time, resources, and space - and exist purely for active leisure. I revel in the artificiality - the chemical water and smell - and it never fails to transport me from myself. Nothing relaxes me like a swimming pool. It's as close as I get to meditation.
Since college, I have tried to keep a gym membership with access to a pool. Through diligent surveillance, I figure out the slowest times, planning my trips to create the illusion of a pool of my own. So far, I've delayed finding one in New York - even with my best wiles, I'm afraid pool solitude may be a thing of the past. So I've been thinking instead of some hazy future where I have a house with a pool of my own. It doesn't have to be big, but it has to be deep, deep enough for coolness, with a little space nearby where I can fit a lounge chair or two and a stack of cheap paperbacks, destined for water wrinkles and smudged type.