05 September 2008

sink or swim, page 1

DSC03639, originally uploaded by dopez.

i don't know how to swim.

this hasn't stopped me from noodlin' around the hotel pool or splashing around in the pacific ocean. i've done all those things. i do all of those things. i just don't swim. i can't. or rather i haven't.

during the end of the school year-you're off to middle school-5th grade swimming party, i threw caution over board and took a place in line for the slide. when i wasn't tugging at my bathing suit bottom (nerd alert: i had kept my underwear on under my suit. i was on the express train to awkweirdo ok!), i was observing my classmates (from the shallow end). my confidence and excitement would rise as each of my classmates would exuberantly emerge from the depths, arms above their heads in victory. our teacher, ms. carnizola, planted herself at the business end of the slide, arms out and ready to rescue. "climb up three steps and down you go" i quietly repeated and repeated to myself. these are things i do all time, i thought, for fun even.

i gripped the rails and carefully lowered my twice covered bottom self onto the slide, i looked down, first at my toes in front of me then down at the undulating pool. 5th grader arms and legs blurred and swayed like octopus dancing. it was quiet at the top.

i didn't know the first thing about being underwater.

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