The first few days we spent away from the city were a shock, or at least felt improbable: What were we doing here? Where and when were we going to eat? Should we go to the beach now or in a few hours? How does this wifi work? What are the cats doing at home and do they miss us? But gradually the hours slipped by and we learned to push such concerns away. We went swimming in the ocean; as I used to do as a kid, I wished that I had gills. As they have done for a long time, the waves rolled in and sank into the sand. A seagull stood on a small crest and watched. The wind picked up and the water became choppy. We went back home, where the sun was just about to fall behind the trees. I was relieved that it was only July. (August has always filled me with dread.) I drifted to the bottom of the pool, where I still wished I could breathe without lungs.