You Were Drowning

When I was younger I never went anywhere.  I don’t remember going out much.  When my sister got her car she would try to cram all of us in and we would go somewhere.  My sister’s philosophy was that once she grew up she would take us all to places because we never experienced anything outside of the house.  We were all still kids.  My sister must’ve been 16.  I was still 6.

One day we went off to the beach.  It was foggy that day.  The sun was making it’s way past the weaves of stretched out cotton shaped clouds.  The ocean was a light pastel blue, a faded light blue.  And the sand was, well, was sand.  I remember everything being lighter than it should’ve been.  I remember the sand to be kind of pink’ish actually.

When I got to see the rest of my family’s attention was somewhere else, I walked away on my own.  Not too far, but far enough.  There was some type of house structure on the coast of the beach, and every so often the waves were getting closer and closer to it.

I was like every other kid.  I looked at the ocean with the intention of not getting wet, but in someway challenged it’s potential to get me wet. I was standing at the edge of where the waves broke off.  For some reason, I felt if I walked sideways the waves wouldn’t catch me.  Right before the waves touched my feet I took a step sideways and I wouldn’t get wet.  That was my thought out hypothesis.

I was alone, watching the frothy ends of waves come closer and closer like the mouths of big dogs when they’re encrusted with rabies.  I stepped to the side dodging the waves.  My back was getting close to the house structure that mounted on top of the beach.  I jumped and hopped, took my steps, and the water came closer.  There must’ve been a big wave that broke onto the shore.  There must’ve been something different.  Maybe I slipped.

I could see the shore pulling away.  The water took my body and pulled me in deeper.  The house on the sand moved further from me.  The line in the sand was gone.  Everything was a blur.  It might’ve been a blur, it really must’ve been my head immersed under the water.

“Do you remember that day Jaype?” Angel would ask me when she retold the story.  “You almost died.”  she would say.

My sister told me that she remembered playing with the rest of my brothers and sisters and then she looked up and asked, ‘where’s Jaypee?’  “You weren’t with us.” she said.  “I looked at the ocean and I could see you struggling underwater.   I froze.  I remember saying, ‘Eliot,’ quietly and your brother came in after you.  Just like that.  He ran into the ocean with all of his clothes on and grabbed you.”

I do remember that day.


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