To preface, we're moving to Columbus, Ohio at the end of the month. There are a few tributaries leading into this river, and I might go into them later, but right now, I'm thinking about how it Might Be Helpful if I learned how to swim.
I had dinner with a friend last night who, like many, had questions about the move, most of them starting with "Why?" And then there's the ones that I'm less amenable to, the "What's in Columbus?" "What's so great about Columbus?" "Columbus is gross, what's wrong with you?" This friend was really needling me with judgment. He was digging for some "true dirt" on the situation, the kind that would lead to my confessing the dramatic "truth", that something horrible has happened and I'm returning home with my tail in between my legs to go lick my wounds or something. During this interrogation, a familiar feeling rushed over me. I wanted to leave. I wanted to evaporate, to explode, to blow my head off, to be numb.
After dinner, we went over to his neighbor's place-- a limping sultan on disability, waiting for his friends to come over and get high on him and then leave, like a lighthouse awaiting ships to warn away in the night. I had a drink. Hash oil came out and was offered and smoked. I didn't even really want to, it was more a knee-jerk response to feelings of lust for obliteration.
At last, we exited politely. The sultan returned to his sofa sadly, alone again with his Xbox.
The rest of the night was unpleasantly hazy. I didn't want to feel the way that I did. Unreachably tired, disassociated, removed, burdensome. I wanted to throw up, I wanted to go home. This wasn't what I was hoping for when I wanted to evaporate or explode before.
What was I hoping for? Something that would quickly usher me from one feeling to another. Something that would insulate me, be mine alone. something I could live in awhile, come out of and be refreshed. It would be like diving into a pool, dipping under the surface, screaming unheard if you wanted. Moving all the parts of your body with perfect resistance. That moment that you hit the water is a transformative one. However you are when you are dry, outside the pool, is shocked into something different the moment you dive in, splitting the water with the full weight of you, the water responding back with a visceral chill that swallows you whole and just as quickly becomes a part of you.
I can't really swim, but in my experience with splashing at certain safe depths, I can say with a fair share of certainty that swimming must be the safest, most constructive approximation of what I'm looking for when that craving for immediate transportation strikes me in the heart and fills my entire body.
So now: where does an adult go to learn how to swim?