The Other End of Sunset

Friday, January 02, 2009

Has anyone seen the movie Jaws?

I hate being afraid.

Come on baby,
don't fear the reaper.
Baby take my hand.
Don't fear the reaper.
We'll be able to fly...
--Blue Oyster Cult

Well, I ride motorcycles -- I even raced them a few times, although I never won. I drive fast cars -- and, ditto on the racing, and, unfortunately, on the losing. I like to ski, and love the rush of a hard turn on a steep slope.

I love horror movies, and haunted houses. I've got a tradition with my friend Raven. He and I have been going to haunted houses every year for the past decade or so, although he or I missed at least one of the past few years. (This year he skipped, on account of his back. Sorry dude.)

I can swim just fine, although I don't particularly like it. But I was on the swim team a few centuries ago, and can still swim a fair distance. I don't have fish issues. I used to surf, although (a theme develops), I wasn't any good at it.

So, really, how hard can snorkeling be? It's sticking your face in the water, breathing through a funny-looking tube, and watching fish.

Boring, maybe, but scary?

Well, fearless reader, I turn out to be a fearful writer.

Yup, I hated it. Couldn't breathe, the whole flipper thing confused me, and I had a full-fledged panic attack. I couldn't remember not to breathe through my nose, which causes a weird mask-and-brain thing to happen. The flipping snorkel -- no pun intended -- kept filling with water.


SL who isn't afraid of much of anything (annoyingly, as usual) is, of course, a great snorkeler, and really loves it. And doesn't have panic attacks in the water.

Don't pay the Ferryman!
Don't even fix a price.
--Chris de Burgh

Luckily for me, she was paying attention, and got me calmed down and back in the boat. The boat didn't have a swim platform, so to get back on it, you had to clamber up over the side. As I executed this graceless maneuver, on my way back into the boat, I managed to slice my foot on the (turned off) outboard motors.

So, now I'm sitting in the boat, embarrassed AND bleeding. Yay for my side.

I guess I never knew
What she was talking about
-Jackson Browne

According to SL, my reaction isn't unusual. And, she says, the conditions weren't very good. There were 3 foot waves and a fairly high wind. She says I'd have been fine on a calm day, and that I have nothing to be ashamed of.

But I hate being scared.

Michelle, next time you go snorkeling, maybe take SL with you? I hear that it's cool to see fish...

Me? I'll be reading something stupid, on my new Kindle (thanks John!), on the shore. I'll be reveling in my lack of mouth-breathing. I'll be feeling the sand beneath my feet -- and, yes, I hate sand too. But, as least the mask won't be screwing up my tan lines.

Today's word? Arrhythmic.

You keep it up
You try so hard
To keep a life from coming apart
And never know
The shallows and the unseen reefs
That are there from the start
--Jackson Browne

As in, my heartbeat felt arrhythmic.

Or, in the sense of "unsteady": Apparently, my courage is arrhythmic.

But I know that when she asks me to do it again, I will. I mean, what's the worst thing that can happen. Umm, never mind, I don't want to know.

Anyone got a spare motorcycle helmet? I hate being afraid.