My Work, On Being Human

Seven Centimeters Below The Surface

Her pearls caught the light that radiated down from above, leaving her sparkling in the deep. She began slowly exhaling, her lungs needed relief, and besides, the surface did not seem so far away. Her dress was heavy, but her awkward yet efficient way of swimming amidst all that fabric seemed to be working. She imagined herself a jellyfish, with one flowing, full-arms-and-legs “bloomp” after another, causing her dress to remind her of a video she had seen on YouTube entitled “The Jellyfish Dance.” A soft smile graced her face as the serenity of feeling like a jellyfish made her endeavor much easier to endure. Her exhale had finished some time ago, and she calmly let her lungs be empty… “I’m a jellyfish…I’m a jellyfish…I’m a jellyfish…”

In the end, it was her lungs that finally could not continue. They demanded oxygen, and now. She was so close, she could see the shapes of the waves dancing along above her. She could see shadows of seabirds. But it was with a slightly bemused sense of disbelief that she had to let her now desperate lungs inhale. The spirit was indeed willing, but the flesh was so very weak. She had no choice. She had been so close, she had almost made it.

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