This is only a test.

I'm OK now. But they just tested the Emergency Broadcast System and I'm still a little shaky.

It's not as bad as when I was a kid when I would actually run into the other room, with my hands over my ears when that high-pitched squeal came on. But I still get hyper-alert, just in case. And I still get edgy, until it's over. Just so I know that it's only a test.

Balloons, too. Balloons freak me out. Because when they pop, I inevitably hit the ceiling; so, seeing loose balloons around makes me skittish. At a party the other day, full of noise and laughter, some balloons popped and it wasn't so bad. Maybe I'm getting over it.

One thing I'm not afraid of, oddly, is water. I may forget to pay a bill or two, but I faithfully remember my swimming lessons at the Bethpage Community Pool - home of the annual lice outbreak (somehow mercifully missed by me), Arts and Crafts at the skating rink (lanyards and ashtrays), and the best frozen Milkshake bars ever. I remember learning the strokes, the breathing (although I'm only good at it on the left side, for some reason). I can execute the front crawl, back crawl, breast stroke, side stroke, and weird froglike elementary backstroke. It's the one athletic thing that I am better than my brother at (forgive my bad grammar). I can tread water for a very long time, seriously, long enough to meet the lifeguard-test criteria. (I did it fully clothed at my brief summer-day camp stint, but forgot what kept me from the rest of the Advanced Swimmer test. It may have something to do with the diving board.)

Oh yeah. Diving freaks me out. Not the board so much - I can jump off - but the actual act of diving. Don't ask me to explain, cause I can't.

I was a weird kid. I guess I still am.

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