Monday, September 17, 2012

Deep Blue

When I was 6, I fell in the pool.

My father and I were outside on a cool, November day somewhat early in the morning. The pool we had was large by backyard pool standards; 20 feet long, 10 feet wide and 10 feet deep. My father held my hand as we walked around the pools edge and he was telling me about how they were going to take all the water out of it the next day.

I thought what he was telling me was boring.

Then I noticed, out of the corner of my eye, something floating on the surface, maybe a foot and a half from the edge. I don't clearly remember what it was, but what I do clearly remember was that I had to have it, and I had to have it right then.

I let go of my father's hand and got down on my hands and knees.

"Don't Fall In." Came my fathers voice from behind me.

I reached. It was floating there. Just beyond my fingertips.

"Don't Fall In Franko." From behind me again.

I stretched.

Almost there…

I stretched again.

Almost there.


And suddenly, everything was blue.

Truthfully, it happened so very fast I didn't have time to try and prevent it. One moment, I was on the ground and next I was floating; totally and completely weightless. I didn't even try to struggle. I just hung there; stupidly, a foot under the water.

And then I was out.

My Father had reached out like a holy bolt of lightning from heaven, grabbed me by my winter coat and heaved me from the water with a violent jerk. (Suddenly I was no longer weightless, in fact I weighted nearly twice what I had no more than 17 seconds prior.) Before I had even fully realized what had happened, it was over.

I have long suspected that I suffer from a mild to moderate from of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Sometimes, it is worse than others. Most often it takes the form of insomnia. And it's funny because it's not that I'm not tired. In fact, I'm often incredibly tired. But my mind will not shut down. And I am left with the low hum of an unspecific anxiety.

That hum has become so familiar to me now. I almost don't notice it anymore. It is the grip that won't relax. It a ray of sunshine turned in on itself until it burns paper. And I know it's unspecific and unfounded because it's not what I felt, hanging in blue space under the surface of my pool.

It's what I felt when I saw that thing floating on the surface of the water.

While it happened faster than I had a chance to react, I knew full well what kind of situation I was in while floating weightless in the void. And while I sure as hell was concerned, I wasn't anxious. But when I was walking with my six year old hand in my father's on that November morning and I saw that, thing, floating on the surface of the water I had to take it out of the pool. I could think of nothing else.

Perhaps that is how I know everything is just fine. Because when it matters, I am never worried or anxious. I am only anxious when everything is alright.

Still sucks I can't sleep though.



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