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evoke so much as an afterthought. I have never told my father that there was one thing that he did with his body that I also wanted to do with mine. I never deflated his dreams for me, aside from the one about swimming. I never even thought to.

a truth about water

I was twentyfour and I was sweating; that was how I met Chelsea. I managed to drag a damp paper towel across my brow and torso in the coffee shop’s restroom before meeting her. It had done little good. Despite being momentarily sheltered from August’s sun, my nerves insisted upon working overtime in place of it. Coffee did not help either. The dating culture surrounding caffeinated drinks proved just as faulty as the one surrounding their boozy counterparts. There is no such thing as social lubricant. There was only longing. Longing for her to keep talking and touching on the pertinent (and never stop touching), Longing to be so understood that my palms felt like anthropological dig finds. Whether a beverage in a glass intermittently quells that voicethe one that knows you have something to losematters so little. Not to be mistaken for too much coffee, it was still there, humming along kneebone cartilage and the fingertips that nervously pushed through my hair: She could very well be this tremendous thing to you. As we sat at an outdoor table, my hair began to feel heavy. I cupped the sky in my palm above my head; it was beginning to rain.

62 Spring 2014

“Is this okay? Sitting here?” I asked. “Yeah. It’s totally fine,” she answered.

a truth about water

It often shifts shape. I returned to the same coffee shop in February following a substantial winter storm, the first of its intensity to hit Georgia in many years. The steel outdoor tables and chairs where I’d sat with Chelsea that previous summer were packed with layers of ice and snow. When she kissed me for the first time a month prior, I was frozen, stubbornly thawing as I realized that my body was worthy of acknowledgement, let alone capable of response. And all of the legends were right all along: I was nearly dying I was surrounded by unknown depths, I sobbed, I was gone, but I was good, and I was ready.

a truth about water

It has been suggested by etymology enthusiasts that the cliché “blood is thicker than water” might very well be a misinterpretation of the saying, “The blood of the covenant is thicker than the water of the womb.” It’s plausible that we’ve been placing too much emphasis on kinfolk and not enough on those who come into our lives by chance, by the luck of the body’s draw.

a truth about water

I still cannot fully submerse my head in the bathtub without pinching my nose. I still cannot hazard more than a dog paddle. These things no longer matter.

Miscellany Digital Edition, Spring 2014  
Miscellany Digital Edition, Spring 2014  
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