When pain comes in waves, we teach ourselves to swim.
Never submerged in water, we practice holding our breath ‘til the room empties of fellow swimmers whose ripples turn to tsunamis when they touch our current.
We freestyle when we should backstroke. We dive headfirst stubborn of the shallow ends.
Some shores seem so inviting. The current calm and clean; waves stretch open like a jaw and crash into a smile. We make ourselves comfortable. Dig our heels into the wet sand. Make our mark. The ocean roars, flows towards us at high speed. It too makes its mark on the sandy canvas. We run off before the current surrounds us, twists tiny tornados up and down our legs.
We look behind us one last time. The ocean recedes like a hairline and returns to its clean appearance.
Each wave ripple – a smirk we’ve grown to recognize. We think about smirking back or replicating a wave, but we hesitate.
We have to keep reminding ourselves – not everyday is a good day for a swim.