He holds his thumb pressed to his forefinger in a loop, signaling “okay?” I can’t respond. I hold my hand to my chest, feeling the panic rise and I am acutely aware that every breath I don’t take will only heighten my state. My body is swaying from left to right in a huge arc and, as my knees keep lifting, I cannot keep my contact with the floor. Is this what an earthquake feels like? Again, Hussein tries to make eye contact and I stare back, hard, unable to move my hand from the safety of my heart. He stays with me and takes my hand and I steady. Moments later we all burst through the surface and I suck on the air intensively, regaining my ground in shallow waters. Welcome to my first moments breathing under the sea.
Continue reading “Currents”