I'm getting back into swimming again, which is nice. I was on the swim team when I was younger, and the pool feels like home. I am not as fit as I was then and it takes much longer to go up and down than it used to, but I'll get some fitness back.
I like the feeling of fluttering through the water and hearing the woosh, woosh in my ears. Best of all is on a sunny day when I can see my shadow below me on the bottom of the pool. I push off the wall and just glide, weightless - completely surrounded by water in that moment, not one bit of me breaking the surface. I love that feeling. When I was younger there were times when I would just hover there, or exhale my breath so I could sink to the bottom and then just hang out for a few moments looking up, watching the light dance through the liquid and listening to the muffled sounds of movement above. I like that underwater world.
But it's Monday and I have to go to work, so I swim for 30-40 minutes then get dressed and walk outside, when suddenly an immense sadness hits me. My eyes fill as I cross the parking lot, walking more frantically now as I search for my car - will I break down before it can be reached? No, there it is - I unlock the car and slide into the driver's seat, hunching down, then cry wet, hot tears that drip straight onto my legs from my face as I am doubled over, trying not to let anyone see.
I don't know where the tears came from, nor do I care - I let them out, loud, aching sobs as I cradle my head because I don't know what to do with my hands. I wait for it to pass. I am so lonely I could scream but I crumble instead.
I breathe - it seems to be passing - then wipe the tears off my legs, sitting up so I can look at my face. The rear-view mirror shows me puffy red eyes surrounded by google marks. I see the puffiness first, think only about the sadness in the eyes later.
It will pass. I let out a sigh, adjust myself in my seat and straighten my bag sitting next to me, then start the car and drive home.