It’s the weight that really gets you.
The swimming itself is fine. Great even. Better still, you can see where you’ve gone just fine. A trail of black against white. Makes it easier to go forward. Plan a route. Make some headway. Not that far to go.
You can do this. One stroke at a time. You can do this. You can do this.
So it goes, goes it so.
Only. Only the dread.
The dread in your gut. It grows.
It shouldn’t be there. You’ve gotten a quarter of the way, things seem fine. Not as well as you might have hoped. That’s to be expected. Still, you haven’t stopped. You haven’t quit. Maybe you’ll make it next time.
You try something different, don’t like it, go back and try again. The other trails you make through the white vanish as if they had never been. All that remains is a single black trail. You hope it makes sense, you hope it’s interesting in its course. You continue swimming.
And the dread grows.
A slight pause. Check on ahead. You see nothing but white. More white. Endless white. While this is fun, you really wouldn’t mind seeing… something. Anything.
This is half way, by the way. On a normal swim, it would be the point of no return, once crossed shorter to proceed than return.
But you can stop, leave the white, do something else. You come back, look at the trail, think you’ve gone astray. More back tracking. You even go back beyond the halfway mark. Then stroke on forward.
None of this has touched the dread. It’s still there. As big as a rock.
All this, and yet no weight. But that is coming, never fear. For you keep stroking, keep looking towards the end, and all the while, you try not to think of one little thing.
Three fourths done. Three fourths completed. A quarter of a page left to do.
Yeah. The white and black, symbolic of typing on the page. How clever, how witty, never saw that coming, never been done before, my God, what were you thinking? You tell yourself to shut up, to keep on with each key stroke, but that voice, that little troll, he keeps right on talking doesn’t he? How much time have you wasted on this nonsense, again?
With that he gives you a brick.
In fact, as he talks, he keeps right on handing out gifts. How much time has been spent on this that could have been on the novel? Here’s your brick. On reading without writing? Here’s your brick. On goofing off? Here’s your brick. How old are you again? Why here’s a brick for every year of your life, you lucky old fart you. Oh, and with that novel, were you really thinking series with this?Please. Here’s your brick your brick your brick.
It’s the weight that really gets you, those bricks, and all that white to fill with black ahead when this, whatever this is, is abandoned and forgotten. Down you go once again, with the only satisfaction you can get is that the little bastard with the bricks goes down with you.
Except you know what? This is a full page. More, a story. Not a great one. But it’s done. One. Less. Brick.