Thomas Schwartz

The waistbandís elasticity is all but lost. I cinch the drawstring tight, sliding the superfluous cloth from my orange, floral swim trunks around to the small of my back to keep it from opening up and revealing too much Brillo-Pad, brown hair beneath my navel. Good to go. I cram my feet into thick polypropylene booties, already warm with someone elseís foot water. I grab a aluminum tank, heavy with the same compressed air that will keep me underwater and oxygenated for the next hour. I don the rest of my equipment; a diving mask will act as my window to all 4000 cubic feet of the diving well, flippers to propel me from one side of the pool to the other, and an inflatable vest, so I can float if necessary, also a belt with 6 pounds of metal to keep me sunk and regulator tube to allow for the flow of air from the tank on my back to my lungs in my chest. All systems go. Time to dive. I take a long striding step as far into the pool as possible and instantly sink to the bottom. The mask makes me feel like Iím looking out from the inside an aquarium. It cuts out all peripheral vision. Iím a blinded horse trotting clumsily underwater with nothing to rest my feet on, but I can breathe! What a sensation. I wish I had gills and ears that equalized 13 feet of water pressure weighing down my eardrums, my nasal passages, my lungs. I decide to ignore it. Life is too fun to pay attention to annoying things. I swim upside down and place the top of my head on the floor of the pool and use my hands against the concrete and my flippers against the water to rotate myself around in a fantastic head rotation break-dance spin move. My outer ear canal fills with water as one CC of air, and trace amounts of sublimated earwax floats its way thirteen feet upward to the surface. When the body, and your surrounding ethers are of the same density, gravity barely exists. The only way to tell which way is up, is to perceive which way the pockets of lighter air inside the body want to go.