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Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Summer Vacation

I am currently on a summer vacation. First one in years. I'm not really relaxing, though. I'm getting ready for autumn and the start of a new comedy season - one where I'm going to raise signifigantly my game and my value in the market. Confidence is not a sin.

It's been fun so far. I went river-rafting yesterday. I have never done anything like that before. Very, very fun and peacfeul. The current just takes you while you just sit and relax, hands and toes dangling into the fresh water while you soak up the sun and make of-color jokes about things you should never speak of. There is something extremely satisfying about being at the mercy of the current as it takes you towards the next rapids downstream, while you wait, laugh and make it through it. Pleasant.

I decided to cliff-jump, too, which seemed a great idea. It was around 15 feet, and looked fun. The river below was the same one I was rafting in, which never got more than 4 feet deep. I viewed the river as a tame friend, one that would pose no problem for a confident man like me to take-on.

Swimming is not like a bicycle. You don't just 'hop' back on and find it as effortlessly as you recall it being, which upon thinking back after the fact, I realized it never actually was. I was always a bad swimmer, but I figured it was a skill that in time, you just developed. Long story short - I didn't think until the second my foot jumped off the cliff. At that exact moment, I realized that I have never jumped off a point of that hight, either, and the fall was not a pleasant one.

I hit the water and expected to hit the bottom and bounce back up. I never hit it - it was very deep, and instead, I lost my breath and a panic set in. By the time that I surfaced, I was already low on air and high in lung-water. I was couging up water and having a great deal of trouble swimming. No beach was close to me - all were far swims, and I realized I was in trouble. I remebered at that point that I couldn't swim well at all, and my shirt, shorts and shoes were not going to help me, either. I dog-paddled, but couldn't stay up. More panic. I lost my breath. More panic. Can't stay aboove water. Glug. Breathe. Glug. Cough. I'm dead.

I tried to get on my back and practice some meditation that I had learned, and it worked. Still I was panicked and fucked, but at the moment, I was ok. What seemed like a minute had passed and I began to realize again that I was fucked. No way out. No swimming ability came to me, no solution apparant. I called for help.

When you call for help, you need breath, of which I had none. What came from me was a plea so meek that anyday now I expect the deed to earth. No help was coming, but luckily, I saw a friend of mine in equally bad shape, being saved my another friend of mine. I saw them swim to the nearvy cliff we jumped from, and I knew safety was a minute away - if I could muster up the energy.

I will spare the suspense. Clearly I made it. I coughed for awhile when I made land and experienced a headache of oxygen depravity that was as foreign a feeling as my brain has felt. Woozy and tired, I made it out, and had a great laugh.

I made it - but almost lost it on my terms, as my fault, and I have learned that nothing quite empowers you like losing and then re-gaining your own life.

The vacation continues.


Blogger daniel_rock said...

you die before i get there and i will bring you back to life just so i can kill you. Go to the Y and take some swim lessons dumby. I'll see you in three weeks.

10:09 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Too bad you didn't have a life jacket.....

10:34 PM


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