I’m walking on the edge of a swimming pool, the cool tile on the soles of my feet. The pool – white and faded is ephemeral as clouds. I’m confused. Do I leap into the water or just stand? My arms are relaxed by my side. Comfort and warmth flood my entire body – a sense of well-being in my own skin.
Before I can think, my legs give way and bend forward. Immediately the cool water catches me, rescues me. My hair is flying, gliding in the water. I dive deeper. Shouldn’t I panic? How will I breathe? I’m not even a very good swimmer – my mind rushes each second with doubt, but gently I sink and drop like a dead weight, finding a new center of gravity.
A man appears. His presence waves and pulls me into his space. He looks like Bobby Flay from the Food Network. Like a submarine, my face advances forward to his lips. I can’t pull the breaks and stop from colliding – my lips touch his and our mouths lock. We’re exchanging oxygen – exhaling water from the nostrils, inhaling air from our mouths. The interior of our mouths becoming the interior of a whale, we embrace endlessly, an infinite moment of warm air and peace. Locked together amidst the precarious stillness, a heavy grasp of unctuous liquid on my tongue evaporates into wind.
Before my greed to survive sucks for more, more oxygen, a black air tank descends next to me at arms length. My hands reach for the cord to bring the mouth piece into my mouth and I am separate again, no longer merged with anyone, breathing on my own.