I struggled on the weekend. It was the water’s fault. The sun was out but the wind was cold, turning my already-sparse muscles into shadows of themselves. The water was heavy from the previous night, immobile save for the faintest shards of wind-chill. When I pulled, it sucked quietly at my strength and turned it into bubbles, and by the seventh lap my only thought was I don’t really want to do this. By the time I was done, though, it wasn’t so bad. On Wednesdays I swim sixteen laps, and on Saturdays fourteen. I used to be antipathetic towards swimming fourteen because no portent outweighs that of certain death.
One of my friends is antipathetic towards kidney beans. I’m not sure why: although kidneys are the life-giving organ, their leguminous counterparts do have a bit of an alkaline taste which sticks in the mouth. We shared tonkatsu and salmon on the weekend after a long hiatus, and she told me about many instances where her only thought was I don’t really want to do this. She also told me that despite my fears, saying to a girl You’re beautiful never gets old. I thought this was good advice and wrote it down, but not on a piece of paper. I also wrote down a short story, which my reader read.
I wouldn’t choose it as an apartment number, but at the end of the day it’s only a matter of belief. If you think it’s cold, then it’s cold, but if you choose to think about tonkatsu or your reader then the crawl doesn’t seem so hard after all. Everyone needs a green light to swim for, otherwise you just end up depressed by the act of covering the same fifty metres over and over again. Even when I do struggle against the current, it’s always comforting to know that I can get out, dry myself off, and have a warm shower which’ll leave me glowing until nightfall. That’s what I did this weekend.