Wednesday Swimming

I keep wondering if winter should be this hard. Pushing in the darkness. Nothing as absurd as Sisyphus, but something as plodding as a sloth. There’s an invisible resistance.

I’ll go swimming later today. If I think about it now, it becomes overwhelming. All I have to do first, then the train and the locker room and the first 30 seconds of cold water hitting my vulva, my breasts, my scalp. I still haven’t learned to reframe the discomfort as anything but an intimate assault on my body.

I’ve never learned to swim properly. There’s no synchronicity between my legs and arms. I try to pull myself through the water, but I get very little headway for my effort. There’s an analogue clock near the slow lane. I can see it through the fog of my goggles when I turn my head to inhale. Its arms seem to move in slow motion. It’s like an anti-flow state, this exercise. Even with music thumping the bones of my skull, there’s no rhythm.

My core temperature creeps downward. I’m doing it wrong, I know. And the odd things is that I don’t know why I am dong it at all.

I’m still chasing something. Fears. Death. Stories.

When I look down at the bottom of the pool, something in me still shudders. I distract myself. Maybe not understanding is fine for now. My arms seem to move in slow motion. Maybe the resistance is required before a flow. Or maybe there is something Sisyphean about it all after all.

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