The Promise of Comfort

Often the cold weather swimming group was struck with thoughts of fire. These thoughts would  hit them suddenly, swimming, eyes closed, fingers stinging from the cold. They thought of houses, of fields aflame and thought of whole buildings crashing down and becoming ember. In short, they saw their blue world changing into the opposite of what it was. Such thoughts pushed the cold weather swimmers to swim faster, but not because they were afraid of these images, or they were wary of why their mind had envisioned such drama in the first place. In fact, no one really knows why the cold weather swimmers swam faster after the fire-thoughts. We just don’t know.

Maybe this isn’t much different than what happened to Craig. One day he was happy, the next he wasn’t. Yesterday he’d thought of yellow, today Craig thinks of brown. Sure, we tried to lift his spirits. We bought him Remy Martin. We made him pizza. But all of this just wasn’t enough. Craig sat at the kitchen table, hours upon hours, yearning for something without saying a thing, for a conclusion or some sort of certainty. Guilt overcame us. The want to provide a sense of security without being able. The sun was setting at noon. A milk truck made its way down the only road in town. I remember turning on the radio then, just after the truck had left our line of sight. Something about something was being spoken about in a foreign language. Of all the things most dear to me about our time with the sadness, it is the radio I remember most. Never have I been so comforted by things I could not understand.