humor · life · science

a scientific breakthrough

Gravity, I propose, is cumulative.

I made this astonishing discovery last Saturday afternoon when I went swimming. Although, for the sake of accuracy, I should change swimming to floundering, because I’ve acquired the natural buoyancy of space junk.

That’s upsetting, since water is my greatest refuge. Pools, oceans, rivers, bathtubs, they’re all life-enhancing habitats, in my opinion. Where else are you a weightless, effervescing mass of atoms? Well, I’ll tell you: nowhere. Dry land positively sucks thanks to gravity — a constant force pulling us, inexorably, toward the center of the planet. We’re all victims of this crazy phenomenon. 

Me, possibly, more than most. Crash landings are pretty standard for me.

You see, I’ve tried to defy gravity my whole life and it’s been to my peril each time. Except in water. Water activated my secret booster rockets; it gave me thrust and the fizzy  properties of carbonation. Notice my clever use of the past tense there? That’s intentional. I’m helplessly earthbound these days. The sneaky, invisible accretion of gravity has grounded me.

I expected to be rusty and awkward after being so long away from pools, of course, but I also expected to have some lift. I don’t. I’m dead weight. Diving in gave me no upward trajectory whatsoever. I didn’t soar, I didn’t even rise; I toppled. That ungainly maneuver created an outsized splash similar in scale to storm surge. Other swimmers found themselves yanked and tossed in the roiling waves created by my ‘dive’.

That wasn’t the worst of it, either. My arms didn’t slice through the water, my legs didn’t kick like pistons, I’m not a sleek torpedo. What I am is ballast, resembling nothing so much as a trussed up body in cement shoes with pockets crammed full of rocks. Reality is so discouraging, you know? Swimming was the one thing I could do and do well.

On the plus side, my little misadventure didn’t require stitches or x-rays or the application of a tourniquet. So, yay.

copyright © 2018 the whirly girl


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