Pool Party Transcript

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So, like many other younger children, when I was little, I lived what I call a phase-to-phase lifestyle. And this was pretty much, I was defined by whatever phase I was in. And these phases would be like TV shows, or books, or something that I’d just become obsessed with and devote my entire existence to, and then have that whole thing completely shift in like a week. And this would become a big dilemma come birthday time, when grandma was getting me Hot Wheels, when I had already fully transitioned into Power Rangers territory. 

But there was something different to my phases, and that was that I had this theme to them, like this overarching theme, and that was the color red. And it wasn't anything satanic, I just really love the color red and all characters and things associated with it.  

I remember I was five years old and in the back seat of a rental car that my dad was driving, and my whole family was in it — my mom and my brother.  And I was just sitting there, and I was just thinking, "Why do I have to be in this car when I have the ability of super-speed?" And this was during my superhero phase, so of course I gravitated towards the Red Flash. But this time I actually thought I had his superpowers and I could run and get to our destination. And we were headed to my uncle's pool party in New Jersey, and it was a very exciting time. It was an annual summer pool party. And it was so different for me. It was this new world. It was suburbia. It was staying up late and going to the mall, and there was a pool table, and a ping pong table, and a pool, for the pool party. 

And, and there was also Michael. Now, Michael was always introduced to me as Uncle Dan's partner, so I thought my Uncle Dan was in the FBI or something. But I was told to call him Uncle Michael, which kind of confused me because he wasn't my uncle. I always defined family, defined my uncles and aunts, as people who were related to me by blood or by marriage, and Michael was neither. 

But I had no problem calling him Uncle Michael because he was like an uncle to me. He was amazing. He was the adult who would actually pay attention to my brother and I when we were little. All the other adults would just come up to us and be like, "Wow, you grew up so quickly!" But Uncle Michael would actually play with us and talk with us, and really make all these family gatherings so special for my brother and I. 

So, we're at the pool party, and my brother and I, we just want to get into the pool. Like, that's our goal. We live in the city, we don't really get to do that that much. So, the second we were in there, we jump in the pool and we're having some fun. I'm staying in the shallow end, but my brother, who just kind of learned to swim, is swimming all around. He's very excited. This is his new skill that I don't possess. 

And I'm just sitting there and I'm waiting for Uncle Michael to get in the pool because, once Uncle Michael's in the pool, that means splash fights. That means diving contests. That means a really fun time. But he's all the way at the other end of the backyard and he's grilling everything. And I'm just waiting there, watching my brother flex on me and swim all over the place.  

And I'm getting really envious, and then it hits me. Today, I have the abilities of the Flash. I have super speed. And if I put my super speed to work, I could probably use it and get to the deep end of that pool. If I'm moving super quickly, if my body's going, I'm gonna float. I'm gonna make it. I'm gonna develop buoyancy. 

So, I'm getting impatient, I'm not waiting for Uncle Michael, and I decided to take off. And I think I'm going really quickly, like I'm running, I'm using all my force, but I'm a puny little five-year-old and I'm in water, so I'm moving very slowly. And I'm running, and the way this pool is set up is there's a very shallow end, which I can stand in, and then a steep incline, and then a very deep end that I cannot swim in.   

So, I take off and I'm running, and the second I hit the ramp, I slide in and then I lose all my power, and I'm trying to break the surface of the water and I'm swimming up and trying to break it, but I can't. And then I'm getting tired and my eyes are sort of closing, and this is a sensation known as drowning. 

So, I'm drowning, and I'm in the pool drowning, and I'm trying to call for help, but no one can really hear me, and my eyes are really coming down now. And all of a sudden, I feel something grab me all around my stomach and pull me out of the pool and pull me onto the surface of the concrete that was right by the pool. And I opened my eyes for a little second and I see Uncle Michael's face. And then he pulled me into the house and put me in the master bed, which was like Tempurpedic with a really nice, warm pillow, and I fell right to sleep. 

Now, recently, my biological uncle and Uncle Michael broke up, and this was really rough for me because it meant I really wouldn't get to see him. These pool parties would no longer have Uncle Michael at them, which was a really rough thing for me, you know. He was such an influential part of my life. 

But he will forever change my definition of family. My definition of family is no longer related by blood or by marriage— it's someone who would run from the backyard and ruin his really nicely-picked-out summer outfit just because he saw that red bathing suit going up and down, and he thought maybe there's a chance that David's in trouble, and he jumped in and he saved my life. 

And I'll also never forget waking up on that summer day to a red Clifford the Dog plate, with a hot dog on it, with a line of red tomato ketchup, and a red post-it on it, with writing on it that said, "Here I come to save the day. Love, Uncle Michael."  

Thank you.