Friday, July 20, 2007

Stormy Seas

Last evening I arrived at home exhausted, but otherwise in good shape.  Like any other good parent I proceeded to place my struggling child in her crib so I could get some rest she could get some much needed rest.  As I lay on the couch with my eyes closed, strange things started happening...

The skies grew dark and menacing, and I soon found myself on a small boat in the midst of a vast and angry ocean.  The wind picked and began to rock my small boat.  Soon the waves grew until they were lapping onto the deck.  What the...

I opened my eyes and found that I was in fact, still lying on my couch at home.  Strange.  Then, I felt the unmistakable lurch of the sea tugging at my stomach.  I squeezed my eyes shut and gritted my teeth.  Soon my mother would arrive so we could all walk downtown and listen to the "Thursday Night Music" in the park.  Fearing the worst, I tried settling my stomach with a Coke and a slice of toast.

While the ocean storm continued to brew at the edge of my consciousness, we began our walk.  When we arrived at the park I laid down in the grass and closed my eyes, taking long, purposeful breaths.  My boat lurched violently and gyrated in ways that no vessel should ever have to move.  My eyes snapped open, and I hastily excused myself to go back home.  My wife suggested that everyone else in our party had had their fill of music already, and that we could walk back as a group.  I agreed, but it soon became clear that my sense of urgency had been lost on my family.  Gathering the dogs, I fled from the park and began walking home-choosing a route that hid me behind local businesses.

Upon arriving at home I did what any well adjusted person would do.  I leaned over the toilette and extended a tentative finger into my mouth, toward my epiglottis.  It shrank back in fear, but I persisted.  My throat constricted and then let go as my stomach gave a small lurch.  The results, however, were unspectacular.  While the urgency of my situation had been somewhat abated, the severity was unchanged.  I crawled into bed.

While in bed, with my eyes shut, the sea returned to torment me.  Water washed unabashedly onto the deck of the boat and tried swamping the cabin.  Between the wind and the waves, the boat reeled from one extreme side to another...returning upright by some magic.  After several hours of thrashing about on the sea, relief finally came to me.  It came with no remorse, nor reserve.  Unlike my half-hearted attempt earlier, this one started in my toes and gained momentum as traveled up my body.  Oh sweet relief!

Now, I live in a neighborhood where it is common for residents to spend much of their time on the front porch of their homes.  This evening was no different, and a veritable cacophony came from the house across the street.  When I stepped out the front door to empty my trash can, a hush came over the neighborhood.  Apparently they too had witnessed my battle against the sea, and their quiet reverence served as a sign of respect for my victory.  Or something like that. 

No comments: