I can do it. I can do it. I keep telling myself that. I’m trying to do it. But I’m not the graceful fish that I wish to emulate; I’m the aimless hovering jellyfish. I’m unable to do it.
Confusion lays siege to my brain. I forget to breathe. When I finally breathe, I forget to turn my head. Now I’m drowning in brine. My unsynchronized limbs start flapping and kicking, stirring up a tempest. Cluster bombs explode in my brain and lightning flashes before my eyes. Somewhere in the background a voice of reason warns me to relax, allow buoyancy to assist, but it’s drowned out by a mind-numbing scream for oxygen. I glance upwards. Move towards the light, move towards salvation.
Finally, I break through the surface of the water and a blast of warm humid air rushes into my lungs. I’m coughing, choking, in pain. But the rigor mortis that had seized my brain has started receding. I’m not drowning. I’m safe. It’s OK.