Submerged

9.3.19

I was wearing a maroon sweatshirt and matching sweatpants. It was time to head to the comedy show. A famous older gay male comedian and I bonded and were walking arm in arm. J was outside the theater. It was dark out, the streets empty and lit by warm glowing streetlights. Everyone else went in. I asked him if I could attend tonight’s show and he said sure just ask V or myself to seat you since it’s sold out. There was a small hole in the concrete street beside him and he, fully clothed, jumped in, splashing into water. The water was clear and inside of the hole was lit in white light. I turned to go inside but stopped and turned back—here he was submerged underwater underground on a street at night with no one looking out for him? I stayed to watch out for oncoming vehicles while observing what he was doing—was this some kind of maintenance work? The water appears soapy. He swam down in there for a while, like an otter, while I watched for cars—I thought one was approaching and covered the hole with my body, raising up my arms to make sure J was protected, but it turned a different direction. Soon J came up and we walked into the theater. I felt a sense of calm. He realized he was soaking wet. 

Rachel Nagelberg