As promised, here’s the story about two images that are forever stuck in my mind after I’ve seen them on TV as a nine-ten year old kid. Two horrific images, both connected to water. To this day I have to push both of them away every time I swim alone in open water.
It comes from the shark movie Jaws. Me, my parents and siblings where on vacation in the Swedish “fjällen”, the mountains in the north west of Sweden. It was winter and we’ve rented a cottage together with my best friends family. One week of downhill skiing, the best of times. One night Jaws was on TV. To both me, my friend Mathias and my brother’s surprise we were allowed to watch. It was fascination, thrilling, scary in a manageable way. We had a good time. I remember we were joking about the bad special effects and that you could see the steel construction inside the giant shark when it throws itself up on the deck of the fishing boat.
But something stuck in my mind. The jaws. The open shark mouth plotted with white sharp teeth ready to bite you, rip your body to fleshy pieces, from beneath the depth. That’s what I’m ready to see under me every time I go on deep water: the open jaws and the dead black eyes. I shiver writing this.
I don’t remember how old I was but this took place in the house where I grew up during. It must have been in the mid 80’s. There was a BBC tv series called Bergerac that was on Swedish national tv once a week. My parents loved the British crime drama set in Jersey island. I didn’t watch it. Wasn’t allowed to or didn’t want to. But I passed the TV. The thing I saw, I will have to live with it forever. It must’ve been the final of that weeks episode cause I remember the credits rolling afterwards. I saw a woman, dead by drowning, murdered. She was stipulated to the bottom of the sea with thick chains. It looked like she was trying to swim up to the surface but was forever stuck down there, with her body placed in an X-position. I can’t remember me having nightmares or anything like that but that image pops up in my head, like the one from Jaws, every time I swim outside.
I can handle it. I love swimming and being close to water. It hasn’t drastically effected my life but I’ll have to deal with initial anxiety forever.
Does this sound awkward to you? Or do you have a similar story? Please comment or write a post of your one.