Acapulco Cliff-Diving

March 1, 2009
By Ira Herniter BRONZE, Highland Park, New Jersey
Ira Herniter BRONZE, Highland Park, New Jersey
2 articles 1 photo 0 comments

Here we were, my friend and I, at the edge of the world. Cliffs on all sides and the roaring, rushing sea smashing the exposed rocks several hundred feet below. We had come to this desolate spot on a dare, to dive down it like many before had done but, never having done it before, it was a terrifying prospect. Here I was, in my little bathing suit and skin, on top of a four-hundred foot precipice. If I messed up, I would be a smear on a rock and mere fish food. If I succeeded I would be the greatest hero at home, the daredevil of all stunts, never mind that I had never done anything like this before.
There we stood, on the edge of infinity, ready to become either heroes or victims. The natives of the coast did this sort of thing every day. In fact, a little farther down the coast, a few of them were taking turns diving into the water, then climbing back up the sheer cliff-side. We stood there, in the scanty protection offered by thin cloth and our own skin, steeling our nerves for the plunge, never quite able to force ourselves to begin, yet neither able to admit defeat and back away.
Around us there was only the sound of the rushing wind and crashing waves, even gulls did not fly here, it was so dangerous. Silently we stood, contemplating, daring ourselves to move, daring the other to, wanting to be lead, not lead.
And then, as one, we ran forward and leapt over the cliff's edge, turning smoothly into a dive. We flew downwards, racing ourselves and gravity to the bottom of the cliff, where rushing water and solid stone fought a never-ending m'l'e of chaos and order. Downward we fell, the vanguard of a non-existent army, charging an unconquerable liquid fortress.
Then, all of a sudden, it was over. The trip had taken not hours but mere seconds, and we found ourselves in the water. Ever deeper we plunged beneath the crashing surf to a calmer world. Around us rose giant columns of rock. Between them flowed crystal clear water without even a single inhabitant. It looked as though it was a sunken city, abandoned buildings crumbling beneath the waves.
Running short of breath, we surfaced at nearly the same time, howling our satisfaction of accomplishment and crying out from the sharp cold of the wind as it whipped our naked skin. We had accomplished our mission, reached our goal. We climbed up the towering cliff and dived again and again, until the sun set beyond the distant ocean.

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This article has 2 comments.

bill22 said...
on Mar. 20 2009 at 8:04 pm
I really liked all of the suddenness and thought in the piece. It's really very provocative.

kcznadel21 said...
on Mar. 19 2009 at 6:36 pm
I was very impressed with this piece of writing. What great use of imagery!

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