We… got our Tarots read, shared scary stories, watched the colored fire burn, threw stuff into the flame, listened to old Chinese ballad remixes, listened to Portishead, to the Cardigans, to Imogen Heap, to the Postal Service, the Cranberries, to Robyn, I don’t remember what else, danced in pitch black, rolled in moist grass, stood on logs, peed on the gravel, passed out in bunk beds.
Hi, it’s me, holding a beer, standing at the shallow end. I swim fine, but I am terrified of deep waters. As a child I have drowned multiple times. First when I was five years old, saved by my friend’s mother (with my own pregnant mother screaming by the poolside). Another time in a jungle themed hotel pool during Camp Adventure ‘98, saved by myself after I recovered from an under water charley horse, both legs, nobody fucking saw me. Followed by several times of mild ocean struggles which I managed to keep it cool regardless of my teenage nip slip and how traumatized I was. On top of everything, I have to remove my hearing aids before getting in the water – this pretty much makes me deaf, and even more anxious. I wouldn’t even hear the Jaws theme song if a shark was coming at me.
December 2004, when I went to visit my brother in Auckland, New Zealand, we went to Piha for surf lessons. Apollo was a natural, he had the physique of a merboy and was cruising through everyone like Lilo & Stitch. Me on the other hand, floundered through the beautiful ocean before I could finally get the hang of it. I was scared to death of being wiped out and being tumbled into the endless cycle of waves. When I realized I needed to trust myself and be at ease with the board and the momentum of the water, everything started to make sense, I almost forgot everything I was worried about – perhaps this was because I knew my ankle was leashed to the board and I could rely on it if something really went bad. I loved it nonetheless. That was the extent of my lifejacket-less water activity.
This summer, I (very cautiously) swam in the ocean twice, pickled myself in four different lakes, each with the intent of going deeper each time. I gave myself a little more credit as I lifted my toes to depart the floor, although from time to time I would slightly waddled back to the comfort of the weedy lake bottom… All in hopes to evolve into a siren in the adventures to come.