The falling

Rob, Mike, Me-river-air matress-camping_adj01-sm.jpg

Excerpt from a writing class assignment: ‘a memory about water’:

There were around a dozen of us. Mostly guys from the High School ski team. The rock was at Lake Berryessa, fifty or sixty feet high. Lots of beer was consumed before jumping. Lots of howling and cajoling. Paul Sassenrath went first. He was a year or two older. He'd done it before. You had to wear your tennis shoes - you hit the water so hard that it would sting your feet like crazy if you didn't. My brother Mike went before I did. He's a year older than me. When he hit he wasn't holding his legs together tight enough and one shot out to the side and messed up his knee. I had to drive home. The falling seemed to take a long time. It was probably a few seconds but felt like much longer. And you went down underwater pretty far. There's a moment of disorientation. You're supposed to stay calm and let yourself start to float up so you know which way is up - not just start swimming like crazy as soon as you go under. After my first time I ran back to the top and jumped again. I think I was the only one who did that.