For the first time, in the three years I’d been diving, I struggled with my buoyancy. I don’t know how fast I sank, but it was more than one foot per second. The pressure was intense and I couldn’t equalize. thought my head would pop. I pushed the power inflator on the BC to counter the sinking, and let the air out slowly through the dump valve and descended at a safer rate. A fish swam in front of my mask. You weren’t the one who scared my friend, were you?
I shot a blast of air into the BC for control and kicked, but I didn’t move. You shouldn’t have stolen your father’s car, even if he owns six. I kept kicking, yet went nowhere. I wanted this day over. My back to the canyon, I sensed something watched me from behind. Never dive alone, and never rent gear for those who aren’t certified.
I spun around as fast as I could with the added weight. Nothing was there. It was black. I turned my flashlight on, and it remained dark. Now my heart thumped. With each beat, it felt as though my body propelled forward and back. The depth seemed to pass through the earth’s core on to places I didn’t want to go. I couldn’t swim or see. The crescendo of gurgling bubbles was too much. Indeed, I had no choice but to stare into the abyss.
All shapes made sense; the shower of electric-blue circles appeared out the corners of my eyes. Were they jellyfish? Ellipses and parabolas which danced in shades of magenta. Sea worms?
I woke to an awareness which detailed my life’s experiences in one breathtaking moment.
I knew why I wore floral shirts, I knew why I liked physics, I knew why certain people bothered me, and how I became a loner. I knew why I spoke certain way, and I could name every teacher, friend, or movie star who passed those particular inflections onto me. I could see the earth floating in space, orbiting our little star. From the furthest reaches of space, I watched myself in the ocean’s currents, its weather systems. I used a higher pitch when I tried to impress someone, animation when I wanted their attention.
I understood how every past event led to the present moment. Beyond beauty, this was the sublime Order of Newton’s universe.
I watched the first hydrogen atoms form to seashells to spiral galaxies. The shapes traveled, touching a moment in people’s lives or collided setting them on a new trajectory.
I vowed to live life to its fullest. No more would I regret or blame or question. We are such stuff as dreams are made on, and our little life is rounded with a sleep.
Chaos (a neon fury) came at me from every angle in this massive mechanism.
Dad, with your money and gifts, but you never gave me your time or attention. You brought your groupie sluts to the house, to our home - the same age as me. No wonder I’d do anything to not be like you. Mom! You wanted this lifestyle. Was this the security you wanted for me? It took your life, and you’ve left me in this world by myself. Mark, I loved you. The awareness overwhelmed me. I wanted to...