In the water

When I feel like I’m drowning no matter how much I struggle to get out of the water, how fast I move and pace my feet and hands cause the waves still hit me in the back of my head and break me, I just close my eyes.
How did I get there? I was born in the water. Its level was always over my waist. I knew how to swim before I learnt how to walk, before any stretching or intention of a hug was even necessary. Hence, I’ve always held my head high, a misinterpreted sign of arrogance, neck leaned back breathing through my nose.
Due to so much water I am deaf in one ear, so deaf that I can’t hear the words, nice, encouraging ones, coming from the shore or from islands in the water. There’s no lifebuoy. In fact, I’ve never seen one. I don’t know what it looks like or what it’s used for. I heard of them. If one lifebuoy will be floating around me, I wouldn’t recognize it, despite the instructions manual from the sealed bag next to it.
I’m not alone in the water, nor am I in competition with anyone. At times it’s discouraging and frustrating to see someone swimming by me faster, speeding, splashing around, throwing water in my face and all over my head, looking like they’re just out for a swim, a “walk in the park”. They make lots of noise and make waves. Smart-ass’ stop for a conversation: How’s the water? Wet, huh?! I can still hear their chuckles and giggles even when they’re out of sight.
Few float, simply float. I tried it myself once. It happened long time ago, when the world was still mine, dangling from my little left finger. I was so shocked I didn’t make it from the first try that I went ballistic, started cursing around, left and right, at everything and everyone, mostly at the main culprit, water. I cursed and beat the crap out of it, until it left my breathless.
Floating is not my thing. Moving my hands chaotically and continuously with no purpose whatsoever and in no elegant rhythm, but sometimes by mistake managing to synchronize them with the pace of my feet, cursing and bitching along the way, that’s my thing. That’s how you’ll recognize me from the shore, from an island or any location you’re in. That’s how you’ll know it’s me and who you’re dealing with.
Sun is bothering me at times. Or God, I tend to mistake those two. Also, I don’t have a hat. I was born without one. I don’t have much hair either to protect me from the sun. Due to so much squinting for a shore, a piece of land to call my own, a shadow, a deserted island with trees and drinkable water, a break, I need glasses.
I would have liked to be a fish, to live together with few thousand others like me, to have a mapped existence, swimming towards a known destination, towards food, fecundation, multiply, warm waters and the end. To become sushi or file.
I am still getting used to my ‘style’ of swimming. As well as I got used to the fact that I will never be in the summer Olympics, nor will I ever receive warm applause for “elegance, dignity and accuracy” of swimming. I know I’m not that young anymore, I know I’m no longer growing and that the best I can do is keep my head above water, the same water that rises its level due to other people waves, due to the moon or due to my own enthusiasm and blindness which leave me in a blur between waves and rocks, shores and mermaids. But that’s all I can do.
I try not to splash when I pass by, not to waste my time looking for a lifebuoy or diving for a seahorse, although mesmerized by its walk, talk and presence; I try not to forget to move and pace my hands and feet and to hold my head up high, all this while I beg, mourn, yearn, curse and yell for a break, a time-out…a f* break!
When I feel like I’m drowning no matter how much I struggle to get out of the water, how fast I move and pace my feet and hands cause the waves still hit me in the back of my head and break me, I just close my eyes and dream.
Dream that I am a duck.

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