Friday, May 04, 2007

Here's Why. . .

. . . I can’t swim. On my previous post, a few people seemed shocked that I can’t swim. Let me explain why.

Back when I was five or six, I could swim. In fact, I was a great swimmer and enjoyed it a lot. Then on June 17th things took a turn for the worst.

It was hot, muggy, summer day. A few friends and I decided to go down to the old swimming hole. Only a few people knew the location so it was never crowded and the cool water was always inviting. We had constructed a rope swing over the pond. The rope was firmly attached to a branch of a nearby cottonwood tree. When it came my turn, I ran rope in hand as fast as I could. Suddenly I was air borne! Gliding over the pond all I noticed was the wonder and amazement around me . . . . until the branch that held the rope broke. Half way over the pond, I went splashing into the water. The cold water slammed against my body and the huge cottonwood branch narrowly missed me. My friends swam out to get to me.

Back on shore, I was shaking and upset. That’s when we decide to call it a day and go home.

Walking down the narrow path, we encountered the dreaded high school bullies. They demanded our money for “smokes”. I wasn’t rich, neither was my family, so every penny was a prized possession. When they ask for my money, I refused. They took me to a nearby creek. There they held my head under water until I was almost out of breath. They would bring me up, ask for my money and when I refused, they would submerge me again. Finally, I broke. I gave them all eleven cents.

My friends who witnessed this horrific event managed to get me home. They told my parents I slipped on a wet rock and fell into the stream. My parents seemed to believe the story. All I want to do was take a warm bath (we didn’t have showers back then) and crawl into bed.

Things were going according to plan. I was in the bathtub starting to relax when suddenly the bathroom door flew open. Startled, I turned to see who it was. That’s when I hit my head on the bathtub facet, knocking myself out. Slowly, for the third time that day, I slipped underwater. Fortunately, my sister’s hair was short and it didn’t take her long to comb and style it for the “big date”. Then she noticed my almost lifeless body under the water and pulled me out of the tub.

The following day I tried to swim. But the previous day’s trauma caused me to block out all the skills needed. For years, I have tried to swim without any luck. Finally, last year I was told I would need to “relearn” how to swim.

Okay, that’s all a lie! But it could’ve happened. I never learned how to swim – okay?

12 Comments:

Blogger Cliff Morrow said...

You....are a piece....of...work.

6:56 PM  
Blogger 1 plus twins said...

i am sitting here swearing at you right now. i was on the verge of tears feeling so bad for you and you mad it up!! so not nice, not nice at all. lol

10:10 PM  
Blogger Jim said...

I did feel bad for you, Ralph. I even thought that we were similar in that the HS bullies roughed us up. They didn't take my money, they took my cigarettes.
I learned to swim in college, at the U of N, Mrs. Jim learned to swim at college, at LSU.
..

10:59 PM  
Blogger Cheyenne said...

I truly loved your story. But don't feel so bad, I never learned either. I can swim a couple feet but not if my life depended on it. Can't even tread water either.
Guess we were just destined for greater things.

11:36 PM  
Blogger Paul said...

Great story. I love that kinda writing. It's not a lie, it's fiction.

BTW: The book is coming along. I've almost finished proofreading it for the last time. Then I'll be talking with a PODer. Thanks for asking.

7:36 AM  
Blogger Seeker said...

You had me going for a while...
You're right, it COULD'VE happened.

Now tell us the story about learning to ride your bike.

8:05 AM  
Blogger Rachel said...

RALPH!!! Here I was reading that and feeling so bad for you. What an awful sad thing and then to find it's all....a lie!!! I'm relieved and I want to poke your head under water too!

That was an amazing spellbound story!

4:10 PM  
Blogger Aravis said...

Hah! You really had me going there Ralph. *G*

My MIL insists that my husband took and passed swimming lessons. But he says that he doesn't remember it at all and doesn't think he can swim.

Why don't you take lessons together? *G*

12:28 AM  
Blogger Jamie Dawn said...

And here I was feeling terribly sorry for you because of your traumatic traumas.
I guess if you've gone this long without learning how to swim, you don't really need to learn.
Always have your water wings on hand though, okay?

5:53 PM  
Blogger Miki said...

And here I was feeling terrible at how traumatized you were! YOu bad Man! Godd immagination though, so I forgive you , Ralph!

10:36 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

I actually didn't believe it for a second. I was waiting for a punch line.

6:33 AM  
Blogger Christa said...

Yeah, I must say that I too, didn't believe a word I was reading when I got to the cottonwood branch breaking...at that point I realized we were in for a Tall Tale. :) I suppose it's plausible, but I just can't see it .

What I CAN see is you being so stubborn you refuse all swimming lessons and things aquatic related until your parents just gave up.

:)

6:38 PM  

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