I try on a wetsuit for the first time in over 10 years. Can’t zip it up over my thigh. Head to the Egyptian guy hanging behind the counter for help.
“Too small, need bigger please.”
He drinks his chai lazily, focussing on his phone. “It fits, pull harder.”
I struggle, knowing that the jagged edges will never meet.
He looks up and, assessing the situatio, declares, “the problem is your thigh.”
Hahaha. And ha. Hahahahaahahahaahaahah.
Flashback to when a comment like that would’ve sent me sobbing, tears quickly rolling into a torrent of thoughts from ‘not good enough’ to ‘horrible person’, ending in a messy ball of ‘doesn’t deserve to live’.
Back to the shop. I laugh at the mixed-up statement, hearing myself respond playfully with an indignant, “excuse me? The problem is NOT my thigh!! The problem is the suit!”
Smiling, the boy rifles through the pile of black and grey suits on the floor and comes up potentially victorious. “Try this.”
I do, managing to squeeze my perfectly sized thigh into it. (Still takes the both of us to accomplish the feat – he pulls the fabric together as I zip with mad effort). I emerge from the situation wholly victorious, in so many ways.
And with that, the underwater-world awaits me with baited fish-breath and fluorescent coloured fins.