I had once felt the sensation of drowning.
It was warm, balmy, and June. I found myself wading farther and farther away from shore, mindlessly pushing forward until I looked back and suddenly found myself observing the small people on the beach the way someone observes a diorama at a museum. They felt distant, far off, secluded from the rest by a small glass box that I found myself looking into, but not a part of.
I hovered there in the gentle water and watched, flitting around the ocean the same way a hummingbird would, looking for nectar in a field of wheat.
Then, in a flash of violence, I was swept under the sea and was held down for a number of moments, either too long or too short to count. I felt this intense pressure on my entire body as I was thrown about under the dark and silent waves. My chest began to ache, and my lungs began to scream for air.
Yet, it was completely silent, and for the first time in my life the only thing I could hear was the sound of my own fear, pulling me deeper and deeper until I could hear nothing but the thoughts that I threw down into the depths of my mind; buried, terrifying, and left for dead.
Instantly, I thought of fish and how unfortunate it must be to drown in a pool of air.
Then I thought,
What if I was, in fact, a fish, and this entire ordeal was a lie?
For the first time in my life, I realized exactly how I felt. I could hear myself clearly, and after a while, I gave in.
I was a fish out of water. But they never tell you that the fish dies.
For a brief instant, my body craved the water as if it was air, and I hungrily opened my mouth to take it in. And it was at that unfortunate moment that the unforgiving sea decided that it had enough and spit me out onto the shore. My lungs did not fill with water, but with air, and reality crashed upon me dragging me back under.
Since then, I have always felt the sensation of drowning.