Swimming lessons

  • Aperture: f/2.8
  • Focal Length: 200mm
  • ISO: 800
  • Shutter: 1/250 sec
  • Camera: NIKON D1H

Northport, Alabama

And so the flood waters recede, leaving the usual muck. If I had any sense, I’d stop fighting the riptides. I’d hold my breath a little longer. Let go of the shoreline mirage and let myself drift, farther and farther out towards the horizon until I was so far away that nothing could bring me home.

But no.

I grasp at driftwood, dig my hands into the mud, let myself be blindsided by the same waves over and over and over again.

I’ve never been able to swim. It’s a running joke in my family that it doesn’t matter. I’m not about to drown. Too much body fat. Throw me in the water and I’m ass-up within seconds, like a duck. It’s funny. Everyone laughs. I laugh too sometimes.

But my head is under water, I think to myself. I can’t breathe. I don’t say anything. It would mess up the joke.

“You’re drowning in two feet of water,” he tells me. “Stand up.”

I rarely bother. It rocks the boat too much. Either way, I end up under water.

I stare into the mud and ponder the irony. I’m not drowning. I’m just upside down. Is this the part where I start laughing hysterically until the tears fall? Or is this the part where I try to blank my mind out enough to remember how to breathe? I’m never quite sure.

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