His dive, performed in front of the small, half-drunk dinner party, was perfect in his mind. He'd had a few martinis at dinner, his wife looking at him strangely over her chardonnay. But he was on a roll that night. And Joyce had come with that husband of hers, Jerry, and had shot him her own looks as he went on about this and that. Sometimes the words came spilling out in a beautiful procession. Tonight, he was on.
Then the whole group wandered out to the backyard after he had told them he was going to perform the dive that had won him the county tournament in high school. He pulled off his clothes in the bedroom and found his trunks, hoisting them up. He felt his sides. Not too bad. In the mirror, the reflection of the bed. He imagined Joyce there, holding up the sheets, watching him. His head was a tumble of poetry. Everything was rose tinged. His wife came in holding her tilted wine glass.
"You're not really going to do this."
"Bring some towels downstairs," he said.
The whole group now a colorful blur as he got on the board. He jumped, arcing through the air and headfirst into the water. He crashed through the delicious cold water, water that stripped him of everything bad.
Eyes open to the blue, bubbles rising like champagne. And when he surfaced he was in a lake, near a damn, surrounded by woods. Alone.