I Lost Consciousness

A young man doesn’t think anything can destroy him.

When does that kind of thinking come to an end?

Does he have to suffer near death to understand his life
is finite?
That it is fragile?


At least,

that’s what happened to me.

From a young age, I was comfortable in  water.
Besides having a family pool, I surfed, boated,
played water polo, and swam competitively.

In the water, I was king of my world.

In the water,
no tough dared take me on.

One day at the close of summer, a bunch of friends got
together one last time at the family pool?
Six of us, including my wife of one year, were saying
our goodbyes to one another.

One joke led to another; all of the sudden
the competition was on.

Who could swim the greatest number of laps underwater.

One of the  guys did it for four laps.

I took one last, deep breath, submerged, and set off.

I finished three laps. I stretched it to four. I turned and pushed off.

I win.

I come up for a breath.

The next thing I remember, I’m laid
out next to the pool, throwing  up water.

“What Happened?”

I didn’t have to ask. I knew what happened.

I’d blacked out. I’d lost consciousness. I came
near to drowning myself.

I sat up. A pain shot through my head.

That  night,
I had the sensation my  head had become soft.

After that,
I no longer felt comfortable swimming underwater for any great length.

My question became: What if I push it too far and lose consciousness

The activity I felt most confident and safe doing was the activity
that came closest to ending my life.

Life is full of unexpected twists, isn’t it?


Life is finite,


life is fragile.

If I could, I would stop
after each breath I breathe,
and ponder how
lucky  I’ve been.