I almost drowned once. It was summer. Floods hit the Midwest like never before. I was stupid. You know the formula. So the kids asked me to go tubing. I said, "Sure, what's tubing?" Already I should have been locked in my room and not let out until I had some common sense. We parked next to a bridge partially submerged by the usually harmless creek beneath. We all had our inner tubes. I watched the other kids jump with huge triumphant grins. I didn't like the look of the water. Too many whirls. Whirls were bad in the ocean, but this was a creek. I took position on a spot not submerged. I swallowed a big gulp of air and jumped.
I landed with an ungraceful plop, flipped, lost the inner tube, and got sucked into an underwater mountain of debris crammed under the bridge. Pockets of water pulled at my body to draw me further into the tangle of broken branches and muck. I loved water back then. I was a total fish. Could hold my breath for ages. Almost nothing in the water freaked me out. Eels, of course. Big scary assholes that held me under freaked me out too. That's about it. But this? No problem. I even smiled.
I felt the tug, tug, tug all over. I told myself I had about a minute to fight my way out and up. I imagined breathing water like the movie Abyss. That would be so cool! I pulled and heaved forward. Echos of my name bounced around me. I didn't want anyone to come after me. I loved it, but I couldn't see anyone else feeling the same way. I made it to the surface. Sucked in air while a barrage of kids just as dumb as me yelled and scolded me for freaking them out. I decided right then that tubing sucked balls.
Why is it almost drowning is so much easier than the land of air and solid ground. I flail out of the water with no clue which direction to take. It was a simpler thing when I had a minute to find the sky again.
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