You enter the room in your underwear, for lack of a swimsuit, or preparation. You’re alone, next to a big indoor pool in a dimly lit room. You see the reflection of the water on the walls and pool deck. It calmly sways, just slightly; just below room temperature, but comfortable. You walk to the deep end. The deck is dry, nobody’s been in here for a while. You pick up a diving weight, covered in plastic, and drop it in the deep end, watching it slowly sink to the bottom. You breathe in - almost as though nervousness does not exist in this place - and hop into the water, keeping your body perfectly straight. You let yourself sink slowly down, until your momentum is gone, and then swim the rest of the way to the weight. You grab it, sit, and wait for your body to command you to move. But struggle is not a function of this place. There is no perception of time down here, but it may have been an eternity. This place, at the bottom, has no bearing on what is, but rather, the absence of it. Time may not have passed. You get up when you feel like existing again, dragging the weight up with you. Nothing has changed, above, or below the surface. You breathe a deep breath. Invigorated. The air feels better than before. That place waits until past-midnight to come again. It waits, for the silence, the calm sway, an empty room, another stranger. Somebody will be here, in time, to stop existing, but only for a moment.
Russell's from Waterloo, Ontario, and he thinks everybody should spend a little more time thinking about birds.