Out of the shower room, and into terror. Teenagers waving me left and right, jump in, you're over there.
The water is warm with people. Warm with confusion. Warm with presence and absence.
This is a test.
I'm pale and confused. And pale. My legs and arms are flailing like they should be, and I'm going nowhere.
Flail flail flail. This is a vital survival skill.
One minute treading water has gone. One minute has gone that can never come back. My legs and arms are limp. Flail flail flail.
Two minutes. Don't stop now. For the first time in days, I've become consciously aware of my heart. It's in my throat.
And I've still gone nowhere at all in that pool. Just floating, drifting-- but this is a vital survival skill. And I've gone nowhere.
A decade plus later, and I still haven't gotten out of the pool-- and I've still gone nowhere.