Swimming In The Dark

Murphy’s Law

We are all lost in our own private traps.

Goosebumps broke on his bare wet skin. Wind howled, chills running down Jason’s spine like little jolts of electricity. He smiled. This was better than feeling nothing.

Staring at the blue ocean ahead of him, another surge of excitement pulsed through his veins. There were others around. But that was alright. To be one with the water, that’s what he intended to be.

He leaped, his body cutting through the air, streamline face forward into the pool like an exhilarated penguin. The layers of dread were leaving him. Uncertainty, doubt and grief, one by one, leaving his insides. A passion awakening from within.

For years now, he had been acquainted with swimming. He had undertaken deep sea diving as a child and had constantly sought out after the experience. The waves, currents, movement of underwater life, the release and shimmers of air bubbles. It thrilled him. It was fantastical.

No matter where he went, enjoying the pool was a thing to do.

With a quick and practiced deep breath, Jason plunged into the water, seeking for the fairly shallow floor. He did not notice the eyes that were on him. Did not even notice that a few other individuals pointed fingers at him, some ladies (creative in nature and design) giggled at the possibilities of his existence. He didn’t bother. He was in his world.

Time slipped by. He hung at the bottom, now and then. Deep breath. Dive below. Explore. Reach back to the surface. Deep breath again. He had fallen under the sync of the sequence. Through his moderately transparent goggles, Jason noticed the vibrant colors of the undergrowth, the life forms, slipping past his fingers.

He noticed something new! A glistening piece of necklace, caught against a rock. Like a mini-sun irradiating light from the bottom of the ocean. A few others saw him, but did not dare swim as deep as he had. The glint from the pendant of the necklace danced against the currents.

Shadows swam over him, but he took notice.

With a muffled grin, he swam to the surface. Rescuing the necklace would be a task. Gifting the necklace to the special woman of his life would welcome all the sufficient perks, not that he was entirely devoid of it.

Deep breath. Dive below. Explore. Reach back to the surface. Deep breath again. He repeated the ritual two more times, just to get the hang of the depth and a good look of the area.

He completely missed the shadow of another man that was closer to him, than the rest. The muscles on his face were rigid, his eyes set on the glint of the shiny pendent. From a safe distance, this man observed Jason. From the look in his eyes, it was certain that there was a plan conspiring in the dark of his mind.

From the bottom of the ocean, the surface gleamed with an unknown glow. It was truly a portal to another realm. Shafts of bright light refracting through the water, bubbles travelling in irregular orbits and even the slightest of waves caused the most imaginary strokes of shadows. Underwater, Jason felt like the water was in control – but not entirely because he could choose to step out of this trance whenever he wished to. Or at least when his lungs demanded it.

Jason almost made it to the necklace this time. But the grim looking man was on to him.

Deep breath. Dive below. Explore. Reach back to the –

He lunged at Jason, grabbing his throat, the pulsing Adam’s apple forcing against the man’s fingers. Jason tried to fight, but his vision was already clouding, carbon di-oxide leaving his system faster than the traitors of Christ.

Jason took one last look at the surface. His nails dug into the man’s hands, tiny sparks of blood releasing, immediately diluting into the ocean. His eyes widened by the second, his pupils matching the design.

The man was losing breath as well, he wasn’t as experienced. Jason wasn’t giving up, more struggle, muffled screams. He could feel the man’s grip loosening. He could feel his life ending. He wondered if, in death he would remember, as a final memory, the face of his killer. But he didn’t. Death was faster.

He quit. without a notice. The struggle was futile. The muscles on the grim man’s face relaxed.

– Shaun D’souza (@hunchbakdsouza)

The Cold Conversations At The Swimming Pool

What is the pool like last night? Warm in the beginning. The best part about indulging into swimming in the dark is the darkness itself. And to make matters brighter, or sadder – if that is how you wanna consider it – I have successfully made a few friends.

It took me a while to understand what swimming at Nine P.M. actually feels like. Relieving and liberating, in my opinion. From the age of five, I have pretty much been swimming, until I quit…and then joined again. What can I say? My relationship with the swimming pool – it’s complicated.

Now the friends I have made over at the pool are the most chilled out fellows that I’ve come across. And these guys are simply not ‘chilled’ because of the weather. (Side note: I’d love to make friend’s with the women there, but all of ’em are in a different pool altogether, as much as I’d like to change that.)

The air is cold, except for a few floodlights, everything beyond is dark. Although the air is reeking of chlorine, you can smell the burning firewood rising from the back. You are cold, light sparks of shivers intermittently running down your spine. All of this at the end of your day, swimming being a mere excuse for a pre-bed time exercise. Sounds crazy. You could be partying or studying or working on a new working-module for your company. Or you could be hanging out…or should I say – floating in? Besides, crazy is good.

For the first couple of ten-minutes everyone is seriously indulged in the act of waddling about in the pool, crisscrossing between the beginners, the learners and a few professionals. After that? Almost everybody engages into conversations.

I think that the unconventionality of this itself is the most amusing part of my evening. Keep your coffee houses aside, the folks at the pool don’t need a cozy couch or a drink in their hand. Most of us talk, about things that bother us, or issues that nobody bothers about too much. Food, relationships, educations, I suppose, most general ‘guy-talk’ topic has been witnessed by the night. New jobs are celebrated, old girlfriends are fussed about, new destinations to visit are considered, all in a matter of twenty-thirty minutes. Almost like a unique business destination.

It is fascinating. Most of them have very little connection outside the pool. Every evening is like a taxi-ride. We enter the cab and find ourselves next to somebody, perhaps even a complete stranger, enjoy the company of that person, and step off when our destination has arrived. And witnessing all of this from a third person’s view (apart from being entirely stupid to not indulge in it), is cathartic.