The Swimmers by Julie Otsuka begins with a group of swimmers who have been using a particular pool, some for as much as twenty-five years. The pool is below ground level, and while others use the facility, these people have a particular time set aside to swim laps. Swimmers have certain lanes which they always use, and a set of rules that everyone abides by. Otsuka identifies the swimmers usually by first names and lane numbers or sometimes just by lane numbers, so we have an understanding of the relationships in this group. One of the people is Alice who is beginning to suffer memory loss which Alice seems to treat as not serious, even funny.