The stabbing pain of the cold water hit me with a strength I was not expecting. I’d jumped into the pool with all my clothes on sometime near dawn, drunk enough that I wouldn’t have felt a punch to the face. Still, even with diminished sense, I felt like I’d been sliced open by the water.
I figured it would quickly stop hurting, so I swam to the bottom, then took a lap before dragging myself out from the deep end with my pink T-shirt clinging to my body. I remember all my muscles shaking as I laid next to the pool still in all my wet clothes. The next thing I know, I’m in a hot shower with two friends who are peeling off my clothes. I’m still wearing my stripper outfit from the night before—a sparkly pink and white two-piece with rhinestone accents. My lips and fingers are bluish purple, like rosemary blooms, and my eyes are dilated like I was high. One friend is behind me with her arms around me and the other one, my friend's husband, is in front of me holding my hands. He told me I went into shock.
"I'm just cold. I'm fine," I argue, through still-chattering teeth.
"Trust me. I'm an EMT." Well, that's convenient.
And then I can't breathe. I don't know why. But for a few minutes I'm gasping for air. He tells me to focus and keep trying, and eventually I can.
I don't believe I've learned my lesson. I mean, besides learning that cold water is cold. What compelled me to do it is not completely clear to me. I know a big part of it is just the feeling of wanting to punish myself for failing in my current relationship. Earlier in the night I had my friend, who was a dominatrix, beat me until I couldn't take it anymore. It seemed right at the time.
I was told later in the week that in that water temperature, in the middle of a winter's night, it’s possible to die of hypothermia in minutes. Maybe I just don't keep up with the local news, but I’ve never heard of anyone dying of hypothermia in Las Vegas. I don't think it really happens, but I'd rather not test this theory, I guess.
I promise, my next update will be super-positive. I've got some fun stuff in the works and many issues have been resolved. Even work is a little more cheerful.