The other day I felt pretty good about being kicked out of the community pool. It wasn’t my first time, either. Maybe the first time to feel good about it, yet not the first time to be kicked out. That was my fourth.

The first time was years ago, at a pool in Meguro. It was for keeping my glasses on. I was not happy then. I can’t see much without them, and I wanted to at least be able to identify family members more than an arm’s length away. It being a community pool, I also wanted to be able to recognize members of our actual neighborhood so I could sufficiently smile and nod at them. I was new in town and very dedicated to becoming a fully integrated member of my new community.

Little did I know it’d take much more than pleasantries to just become a proper member of the community pool.