Prologue: I have found myself returning to this very often recently, more specifically, step 4. The stage when your body convulses to breath, realizing it won't breath and begins auto shut-off. The stage right before euphoria starts, the theatre, the act, the show. Where you become the spectator of something great, or something disastrous, if not pulled out of the water line.
Below is the original writing.
Beginning to get that euphoric feeling like that time I drowned. There is a bliss in feeling your body fall to the weight of the water, as the curtains close. Yesterday, the water was on the other side. Today, I wanted us to be together. On the same side. The only thing separating us was simple, a single breath.
”I” needed to give my body and mind a chance to surrender, surrender to each other. To the side of things that are unknown, to me and frankly to her. I thought it would knock me out, bringing on the dark – the other side. I didn’t expect, slowly presenting herself in front of my eyes like a dimly lit performance hall with no audience or performers, closing its curtains after its final performance, with a deep sense of consolidation.
“Wait, what just happened.” my body felt.
I knew I was someone but it took me seconds to realize which someone I was. My “friends” visibly blurred around me, carried me up, and out of the water.
“Was that euphoria?”
“Wait, what just happened?”
I took a breath, a couple more, and then another.
“Cool, I’m coming to, I’m good, alright, what just happened?” I tried to say.
I collected myself, finally able to lift my own head, water running down my face, I looked around, and nodded at everyone. Finally, oh I’m “alive”.
“Alright, who’s next?” I said aloud.
How long can you hold your breath under water they asked. Just hold your breath they said. No. Don’t hold your breath, surrender.
Reasons for wanting to learn how long you can hold your breath under water could err on the side of dumb, naive, crazy, or whatever no big deal. Whichever it is, consider the following:
Have you ever felt your body weight fall into the weight of water? (footnote 1)
Have you ever felt the bliss that comes after your mind overrides your body?
Have you ever tried to discover the final unknown?
This. This “C” is the story. Literally and metaphorically. Metaphorically it’s “mindset”, what we say, in our work, in our personal lives, in our day to day, it’s a mindset thing. I say this daily. No matter how much I believe or disbelieve it.
What does “final unknown” mean?
First you pack your lungs. With air. Yes. We’re getting started on the steps required to arrive at this answer. At least one of several ways. This was the safest I could think of, actually no thought went into this.
First, pack your lungs with as much air as possible.
Second, put your head under water.
Third, resist the urge to breath.
Caution: Do not skip below step, doing so will revoke your tickets to the show.
Fourth, mentally & physically resist your body’s involuntary movements attempting to breath.
I would equate this to someone grabbing you by the shoulders, shaking you violently, screaming, “breath you idiot, come here, move your body out of the water”. Step four is extremely vital, I think it’s the most difficult part, most fail here. Please, I beg you, don’t skip this step, you will miss out on the best performance you will ever witness. Hold your ground!
Last and final step.
Fifth, become the spectator.
Enjoy your body, watch the show, wait for the lights to dim and turn off.
END OF INSTRUCTIONS
There you have it. Now you can answer, for yourself. What does “final unknown” mean? I sure as hell can’t EVER answer that for you. I can however share what happened during the “Bliss Ballet of Merged Worlds”.
The experience of bliss, through the merge of mind, body, and water.
I could hear the voices, fairly muffled, yelling the time while I was under water.
Tony yelled, “one-minute”.
“Two-minutes thirty seconds” I heard, again muffled.
Welcome to step 3, resist the urge to breath.
A discomfort develops in different parts of my body. I suddenly get an itch in my throat. I start to feel different muscles or organs that I don’t normally notice. My head begins to develop some pressure.
I mostly manage these by staying under water and letting out small cute bubbles that predictably float to the surface and, or pop. Not much else I could do. This lasted a couple seconds but felt like eternity. Then, the body goes quiet.
“Oh nice, I think I’m getting in a groove, feeling good” my mind thinks.
My body starts to convulsively jerk itself. Several times, for several seconds. I’ve never researched this but what I heard was simple.
“Breath you fucking idiot!”
“You don’t want to breath?”
“No problem, take this!”
An electric shock through my body. An attempt to force my lungs to breath air. The shock was to expand and contract my lungs. To do the thing it was made to do. Breath in oxygen, breath out carbon dioxide.
“No, fuck you, we were meant to be together” I told her. “Sorry, I shouldn’t curse, please don’t do that again, it hurts me to say no to you but I have to” I followed.
The electric shock happened a few more times, I think she finally got the message. I wanted to be with her and I wouldn’t surrender to such childish games of shocking me with electricity. Besides, they didn’t hurt that much. I just hated telling her no.
“Congratulations, the show is right this way, please make your way towards the front of the stage, we reserved a special seat just for you.” said the usher.
Welcome, you just completed step 4. It’s not that bad once you get through it. It's all rainbows and butterflies from here on out. Just sit back and enjoy the show.
Tony yells one final time, “three-minutes”.
“The show began. Shhhh.” I heard from the other side.
My body becomes omnipresent. I feel everything. Most weirdly, I feel the blood moving through my pipes. Weirder than that, I feel the direction of their flow.
“Wait, what is happening?” I think I thought.
My fingertips begin going numb. My arms begin to feel heavier, falling lower on the water line. My toes encounter the same, legs falling towards the ground. Everything starts to feel heavier, my body sinks towards the bottom. My blood “coursing” through my veins. All moving in two directions. Towards the heart and towards the brain, I think. Right before the inevitable happens.
“Mikey, is that you?”
“Wait, What the fuck! Where am I? What are you doing here?”
Mikey responds. “Dude, are you on something? I’ve been here all this time, where did you go?”
End of the original writing.
The last 4 lines are fictional, all else is non-fiction, based on true events.
[NOTE TO SELF: FINDING IT VERY INTERESTING THAT I’M TALKING ABOUT A TIMESCALE THAT EXTENDS ONLY TO ABOUT 5 MINUTES BUT THE ACTUAL DEEP VALUE OF THE STORY MAY ONLY BE IN THE 30 SECONDS THAT I EXPERIENCED, “COMPRESSION OF TIME”]