Some called it snorkeling, some called it scuba diving but it didn’t matter, they were the same thing… killing yourself to live.
I discovered snorkeling on a deep, deep dive into the Internet. The search for just the right kind of free porn led me to its riches. I closed three pop-up bubbles before I got to the digitally-ancient-looking forum which promised to house a rare database of vintage porn from the late-90s, the nice softcore kind I grew up with.
I couldn’t find the fine cinema I was looking for, but I quickly stopped caring. The forum was instead loaded with the kind of controversial conversations you only have in the privacy of anonymity, conspiracy theories I had actually never even heard before and the kind of gruesome pictures which keep you up at night.
I clicked on the first topic listed on the forum titled: SNORKELING.
A disclaimer greeted me upon entering the thread.
WARNING: The views and opinions expressed on this thread are not representative of this forum. The forum is not responsible for any damages caused by any individuals recreating or attempting any activities or actions described in this thread. This thread is simply a place to relay stories, strategies and insights into personal activity and is in no way supposed to be instructional.
I couldn’t have dived into the thread faster after having read that. Warn a young male to stay off the grass and it’s only going to make him run to it faster.
The first post in the thread was an explanation from a user named JessePinkman42069.
JessePinkman42069: The Urban Dictionary describes snorkeling as an out-of-body experience, influenced by drugs where the participant believes they have temporarily died and left their body and are experiencing a purgatory in the real world where they are invisible. The few doctors and scientists who have conducted limited research believe the participants use a yet-to-be defined stimulant which gives them a temporary case of Cotard’s Syndrome, which makes them think they have died and are invisible to the rest of the world in the time they are under the influence.
Participants interact in small groups in dark corners of the Internet in a heavily secretive nature. No member of the group has ever spoken publicly about the activity or group. However, authorities have suggested it is believed members use a new drug which temporarily shuts down their nervous system and brings on the brief bout of Cotard’s.
JessePinkman42069: (Those of us who snorkeling which bits of this description are true and which aren’t.) For those that do, let’s talk about snorkeling, but keep your mouth shut about the details we can’t discuss. For those that don’t, fuck off unless you are serious about this.
The handful of comments which followed Jesse’s intro were just basic parroting of what Jesse said in his second comment, but they still drew me in. I couldn’t scroll down the thread fast enough. I needed more information.
My hopes were finally answered in the form of another post down the line by Jesse.
JessePinkman42069: For those that are truly interested. Follow me on SnapChat, same name as here and I can let you know what you need to know if you are truly committed to this. Just promise to be patient and true.
The rest of the thread wasn’t very helpful. It was either people who seemed to be part of the group saying something along the lines of “Fuck yeah!” Or newbs like me coming in and asking questions and receiving radio silence or getting chewed out by Jesse for not properly following instructions.
I followed the rules. I followed Jesse on SnapChat and waited, patiently.
It took a while, but Jesse eventually popped up on SnapChat and just mentioned a private Facebook group we needed to request to join if we wanted to take part.
I joined the group. That’s when it all truly started.
The directions were all there. Jesse offered a starter kit for those that wanted to snorkel. You had to pay $1,000 up front and he would physically mail you the kit you needed to make things happen.
This was the tricky part. At 16, I still lived with my parents and went to high school until 2:30 every day. My mom worked part-time and was home each day around 1 and the mail usually showed up around 2.
My mom was trusting enough of me to not open my mail. However, there was a good chance she would have at least a few very hard to answer questions if she saw a package with a mysterious return address label on it. I couldn’t risk her getting the package first.
I needed to take drastic action. I couldn’t have my mission compromised. My life was too sad and boring to let this chance to inject it with a little bit of life slip away by having my mom literally flush it down the toilet – the likely outcome if she first received the package and intuition kicked in. My daily routine of wake-school-masturbate-stream-eat-stream-masturbate-sleep-wake-school-blah had to end. I was trapped in a teenage, suburban, clean-cut nightmare and this was the best way out I had seen yet.
I faked sick. For three days.