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The Dive

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I stand at the end of our weathered dock, stand upon the wood that I know has seen better days. The varnish that once reflected the sun has peeled to nearly nothing, and the bare boards are more similar to the grey, clouded sky than anything lively and bright. My toes are in a desperate grip to its splintery edge, as my mind commands my still sleeping legs to reach over the coolness of the pond. Water bugs glide smugly over the water, clearly mocking my reluctance and lack of self motivation. A cluster of rings erupts the still of the water as I rid my foot of the water running over it, drip by drip. The water chills my legs, thighs, and then my arms shiver too, prickled by the mere idea of getting wet.

Although I utter but noiseless breaths, the vibrancy of my bathing suit alone disturbs the silent song of the pond, the tranquility of the browns and greens reflected upon it. I feel as though I owe an apology to the tall pines that tower in disapproval, as though I need to articulate to them the scarce availability of swim attire that matches their quiet tones.

My fingers twist and stretch the rubber of my goggles before I submerge them into the water, each side filling like small bathtubs. And then they’re empty again as I spill their water onto the dock, darkening its wood a shade and forming a small stream, as if that little amount of water I stole is eager to be a part of the pond once more.

I attempt to stretch them over my hair without pulling too many strands loose. My eyes take one last look at the purity of the morning before I push the wet, purple suction to the skin around my eyes. Now a thin layer of plastic with several thin scratches sits between my eyes and the pond, slightly clouding the clarity of my vision. My body attempts to distract my mind, make it return to past swims across the pond, make my tongue remembers its coppery taste, and the soft waves my strokes would make, like smooth, black glass.

With my mind temporarily adverted from the present, my arms jolt to life. They swing back in unison, a pair of divers themselves, catching me by surprise. I’m unable to protest when my knees bend, my toes now clinging with purpose to the dock’s edge. I’m charged with potential energy, a spring pressed small. And then my arms swing forward, my knees straighten, and my toes push. And I dive.



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