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If you put your head back on the side of the pool, you can look straight up. Ninety degrees up, the perfect perpendicular, because the air inside the vinyl lets you. The world seems really different when you look straight up from the edge of a blow-up pool. I like to sit in the corner, in the shady end. When I look up, I look up into a tree. It’s like those movies that begin in the sky and pan down to a neighborhood, or a bird, or a guy on a bike, escaping from somewhere.

I go in the pool whenever I can. We’ve named it Bel Air, and my kids wear aviator sunglasses and bikinis, and turn on the music. They sit in the sunny end, with their drinks and Sun-In. Cooper brought a TV tray out the other day, for all of the accoutrements. It is as terrific as any real pool, with tiles and steps. It is better, really, because you can look up with your head all the way back and think. And then you can straighten up and see each other, a little family in a container, having a time.

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