Thursday, January 29, 2009
"I was in Washington State, at a small-town YMCA, when a boy wandered into the lap lane and popped his head, seal-like, out of the water. I would later learn that he was nine, but at the time he was just this kid, slightly pudgy, with a stern haircut. It's like he went to a barbershop with a picture of Hitler, that's how severe it was. We got to talking, and when I told him I wasn't a very good swimmer, he challenged me to a race. I think he assumed that, like most adults, I'd slow down and intentionally let him win, but he didn't know who he was dealing with. I need all the confidence I can get, and one victory is just as good as any other. Thus I swam for my very life and beat the pants off him. I thought this was it - he'd accept his defeat and move on with his life - but five minutes later he stopped me again and asked me if I believed in God. "No," I told him. "Why?" I thought for a second. Because I have hair on my back, and a lot of other people, people who kill and rob and make life miserable, don't. A real God wouldn't let that happen."
— David Sedaris