10-Line Tuesday

December 26, 2017

restoration of persons apparently dead from drowning *

First, make two smarting smacks to the stomach with an open hand. This will likely
not revive the patient but will at least provide the body with a reminder
of its own stubborn leanings toward aliveness. Turn over and square the face
against the floor to reduce the glare of onlookers jostling for carnage. Demand the cameras
be put away, then press all your weight on the back until the spine makes full contact
with the ground. Stay on your knees. Count slowly. Breathe like normal. It will seem
fruitless, of course. The drama of the pool will have its eyes on you,
the frantic crowd threatening your fortitude, your commitment, your optimism.
You must ignore the catcalls of the disbelievers. There is air still left in these overwhelmed
lungs. It is rising toward you now, incremental but sure. Do you see it? Do you see?

* from the book Valuable Information for Daily Use in Every Household published in 1887.