Stasis

There I was lying in a clair de lune. Silently basking in the soft warmth of candlelight as a dim overhead beam gently reflected off the water. Buds of chamomile nipped my fingertips, filling the air with the scent of a tea shop. The water lapped against my skin as waves on a shore. My body was submerged under inches of water and covered in silky peace.

Slowly my head and neck slunk into the bath and the tension melted with the heat.

When I opened my eyes I saw my hair floating in the water. It danced its native dance, enjoying its bath as much as I was. The strands suspended themselves in the water, waving back and forth, gliding like a skater on a pond. The only movement was nothing but graceful.

If I moved my arm ever so lightly the water would be filled with crashing waves, splashing against my toes. I could not disturb my peace.

I did not move. I had no pain or pleasure, no smiles or joy. No tears or pain or thought. No thought at all; my mind was nothing but empty. I reached stasis—that scientific principle often mistaken for balance. The scales were even but opposing. How unnatural a way to be. There is no change, no Delta, no Alpha, No Omega.

A state of death isn't it? I had died already yet I was afraid of death. When does a flower die? When it wilts and each delicate petal falls? Or does it die when the stem turns dry and brown, absent of water?

But there I was in a vase engulfed with water.

A cloud formed over my moonlight haze. I opened one eye only to see a hand full of muscles, forcibly holding me down, pinching my nose so my survival instinct would kick in and my mouth would gape open, gathering as much water as I could swallow begging to breathe.

I was helpless.

The burning and pain of bubbles bursting in my throat and lungs filling, exaggerated the endless cycle of coughing and swallowing. Choking on chamomile buds that had not yet dissolved, my chest got tighter and tighter while my eyes grew dim and spotted with the pixels of light that could just barely get in.

Just let me go, I prayed. There is nothing beyond drowning. No kiss of life from a certified giver. No last kick to the bucket. No strength left even if I could.

Science won.

Like lightening I shot myself forward with everything I had. The water violently splashed around, leaking out of the tub and flooding like a hurricane. My hair dripped lying limp; beached worse than a whale.

I violently gasped for air and coughed until I threw up, looking around for who or what did this to me. Only I was there.

My stasis was shattered. My senses heightened. Rebooting and reloading a broken program. With a roar and a cry and resolve I am rejoined.

I drained the bathtub and stood up, wrapping a towel around my body, embracing the fluffy fabric, enjoying the first feeling I felt in years. It dried my wrinkled skin, weathered and worn by warring waves. My lungs still hurt but that was expected.

Sometimes the best thing to be is a fish out of water—especially if you are not a fish.