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Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Yesterday I went swimming at the beach. RA suggested that the three of us (me, my sister, and him) go out at high tide and jump in off the boardwalk, and then swim out to this small island that sits about 500 meters from the shore.

Unfortunately, when we got there, it turned out that we read the tide timetable wrong, and the tide was low. As a result, we had to walk over like ten meters of painful rocks to get in.

Once we got in, it was fine. I swam leisurely to the island and rested on the beach, waiting for my sister and RA to join me. When my sister got there, I told her that I was considering swimming over to the regular beach, which was about two kilometers away.

I started making my way around the island, and when I was about a quarter of the way to the shore, I remembered that I hate swimming in the ocean.

"I can't see anything!" I thought. "What if there are sharks and stingrays hanging out, West Side Story-like, ready to attack?"

Then I started thinking of this Faces of Death tape I saw when I was thirteen. This barracuda had attacked some guy who was swimming around in the middle of the ocean--kind of like I was right that very moment, and he ended up needing something like 400 stitches to get put back together. Do barracudas even live in salt water? Damn this lack of knowledge about sea life!

Then I started doing the backstroke, which is like half the speed of freestyle, with the hopes that when I was attacked by a barracuda that it would just bite my back, and not my precious, precious guts. That was when I had another revelation regarding my dislike for swimming in the ocean.

It happened when I was about halfway to the beach, when I felt something touch my leg.

"Ah!" I yelped. "AUGH!" Luckily (or maybe unluckily) no one was around to hear my screams. I had swum right into an enormous patch of seaweed.

"Gross," I thought. "I'll just swim out of it."

But I couldn't swim out of it. It was everywhere. I kept swimming, and the more I kicked, the more it wrapped around me. It was like swimming in your grandfather's ear. This is when I started freaking out, screaming and stroking, hoping the madness would be over soon.

"YAHH!" Stroke. "YAAH!" Stroke. "YAAH!" Stroke. Stroke. Stroke. Eventually I made it out, and into . . . an enormous stretch of jagged rocks.

The rocks proved to be unswimmable, and so I had to climb around them on my hands and knees, cutting myself on my unprotected hands and feet.

Eventually I got to the shore, and lay on the ground panting for ten minutes before I was picked up by my friend and my sister, who swam right back to our entrance point, and are evidently a lot smarter than I am.

When I went to sleep last night, I noticed a bunch of sock lint in the cuts on my feet.


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