The summer heat is oppressive. Mr. M, seated beside his pool, looks at the cold water. "What could be better than a refreshing dip?" he thinks. He dives headfirst into the water and takes a couple of powerful strokes. Then, suddenly, he stops. He exhales, sinks to the bottom and simply stares straight ahead. "I'm drowning," he realizes, strangely unperturbed. He knows that a few strong kicks would bring him back to the surface. But he can't quite bring himself to do so.
As luck would have it, his daughter has been watching from inside the house. She runs out and dives into the pool to save him. The sight of his daughter shakes Mr. M from his apathy, and just as she reaches him he propels himself upward, breaking the surface and gasping for air. Later he tells his family, "I don't know what was wrong with me. I just didn't want to swim anymore."
This article was originally published with the title Drowning Mr. M.