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Trials Of a Kamas Pool

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“You can do it! JUMPP!” I gaze down at the transparent blue below. A yellow board sits beneath my feet, the color of would-be divers who left before jumping. “Jump!” my friend expects the best, but she doesn’t know how my knees shake, or how water is like ropes of steel, trapping me under. Several people have clustered at the bottom of the metal frame. In horror, I stare at them.
They encourage me with gestures and words unheard in the clamor of the Kamas Pool. I glance, heaving air into my system, over the edge of the board again. It can’t be so bad… I gasp, and fly off the plank. Eyes open, I see the walls rushing by. For a split second, I soar, then hit the water with a crash. I touch bottom, then noticing I’m 14 feet under, a stroke never taught propels my body to the surface.
The water, featherlight, runs over my body, a deprivation of senses.
Sound shut into a mottled
music,
light reduced to a
subterranean gloom.
The only true sense is the
pain in my lungs and the
thrusting of my arms and legs.
Urging myself up though the light seems to be
joyfully taunting me, just out of reach.
I can’t take this any longer! Still raking up ever higher, the
black air in my lungs
explodes out. I open my mouth to take in a dying breath of water—
and burst through the surface.



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