On War

I remember it was dark. The light of the moon could not break the undulation of the current nor could the warmth of the air penetrate the coldness of the waves surrounding me and everything encapsulating. Weightless. Floating. My arms are tucked around my knees and I chance a moment with my eyes open. Specks of life suspended. Green and brown and gray. Dirt kicks up in an arc as I flip myself around and around and imagine myself dancing between two spaces of nothing. Orbs flow from my nose and I see them as they are, bubbles, solace of oxygen amidst the pressure of the deep. The spirals make me dizzy and I don’t care. Directionless and lost but not lost, I reach out and try to grasp them, but they collapse, always collapse.

A bright light above or below me, I can’t tell. I try to stabilize, my hands reaching out to find the earth. My fingers and hands sink into the mud and I’m equally relieved as I am horrified. Slimy sludge grips up to my wrists and I wrestle them free. The shock of the sounds that follow the sight shake the ground and the nothingness in between.

I am out. I am. Don’t. Move upward. Find up. Find it and hold it and move toward it. I move my arms back and forth, kick my legs and I seek the air I want to breathe until I find it and the water falls from my eyes and they focus but I don’t believe that the place before me was the place before.

by Dan Diehn (@diedan)