The Pool

Yesterday I took a swim in a pool, the same pool I almost drowned in when I was four years old.

More than a decade ago, my mother, father and I took a trip to California.

I distinctly remember seeing the Redwood Forest, visiting some hot springs, and spending time at my distant cousin’s house in Los Angeles. My memory of what happened at the house is sparse, except for certain details of the incident.

I remember it was a sunny day, and we were all gathered around my cousin’s pool. Music was playing from the poolside speakers, my cousin’s two poodles were running around, and my parents, my cousin, and her husband were talking amongst one another. I recall running around the pool, chasing one of the dogs.

Then all of a sudden, I slipped and lost my footing, sending me head first into the water.

I began to sink, and I felt as if I was trapped in a blue embryo. As the water began to fill my lungs, I could briefly see the dark silhouette of my father jumping into the pool to grab me.

And now, ironically, I find myself in the same exact spot years ago, where Death almost took me.

I didn’t even know who I was when I was four. I didn’t know what I was interested in or who I would become. And yet, now I find myself in the same exact place, nearly two decades later, trying to figure out how I got here.

Coming back here wasn’t the original plan. I didn’t like the possibility of moving to Los Angeles all throughout college, but when my cousin asked me to move in for a couple months until I got my own place, it was a proposal I couldn’t turn down. And although I’m still getting used to things, I’m actually starting to like it here.

Still, at times I feel unusual, and it probably has to do with how big of a change this has been for me.

At first, it was only ever every once in a while when I would get the visions. I sometimes call them “glitches”.

Many times over the last few years, I have dreamt a brief contextless moment of the future and then relived that moment again in real life when it eventually came time. The closest thing it resembles is deja vu.

Now, however, it’s been nearly every other day that they occur. They interrupt my living consciousness.

Often times, when I’m walking outside down the street from my apartment and smell the honeysuckle in the air, I swear I can almost see Her face.

I could be minding my own business in the grocery store, when all of a sudden I can briefly see the home I eventually settle into, and my two children playing amongst the garden in the backyard. Even if I can’t picture anyone’s exact face, I can still feel the warmth of events that I will experience in the future.

They say that when you are dying, your brain fires off extremely psychedelic chemicals. In the last seven or so minutes of your life, you relive your entire past.

Many important people in my life have visited me in the past couple of months since I’ve been here, and it feels like they’re visiting my death bed. People are going in and out all the time it seems.

My friend was out here for nine days. He said he’d be back soon. His brother and his girlfriend were here for two days only a week later.

My two aunts flew in for a business conference and had time to grab dinner with me and take me grocery shopping.

And now, my friends from back home are visiting next week. My parents are coming to visit me in a few months too.

I’ve already got the opportunity to meet some people I’ve looked up to for a while. It still doesn’t make much sense to me and it all feels too real.

Sometimes I’m afraid that I’m still four years old and in that pool, or worse, in a hospital somewhere in Los Angeles in critical condition.

Sometimes I worry that every experience from the incident has been an extreme hallucinogenic fabrication.

Death almost claimed my soul all those years ago.

I’m now wondering if his plan was to try and lure me back to this very spot in order to try again.

Perhaps that is correct, but what keeps me calm is the visions and the possibility that they might be real.

If so, I’ve got a lot of life left to live.

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