Belly flop

The sun is making me remember the summer time.

I’m with a bunch of friends – some old, some new.  I dive off a pier but instead belly-flop to a dramatic fail.  I swim back smiling.  We’re gonna laugh about my red belly. 

“Wow, that was a bad dive, T.”  I’m about to laugh along.  It takes a second for me to realize they are not laughing.  Criticizing my poor form.  I make jokes to get them to start laughing with me.  They continue to press on – that was a bad dive that was a bad dive that was a bad dive – it’s clear that it doesn’t deserve to cause fun to be had.  

It gets me defensive.  Hey, it was a bad dive.  I know – I was there.  I’m uncoordinated.  So what.  It’s not an audition, girls, I think in my head but am too stunned to vocalize it.

I swim away, away away away, so I’m only with people who are supportive and loving.  So I’m only with myself.  

Years later, looking back, I know.  Some people are always looking to push you down.  Just because you’re happy.  Just because they are not.  Just because how dare I have something they don’t.

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