Friday, September 28, 2007

~Sugar-Coating by Comrade Kevin~

I possess a particularly nervous kind of personality. This was quite evident that afternoon when I felt the roaring, gutteral vibrations of a nearby explosion in the floorboards underneath me. It was a jarring and ragged feeling hard to easily articulate.

Like an unexpected obscenity, the shock waves rattled the wooden deck first, transformed the water of the swimming the pool to a choppy, frantic, swirling mass of waves, and then a fraction of a second later pulsed through the carpeted floor of the computer room, where I was writing.

I felt it through my legs first. Raw, vibrating, jagged. It made the inside of my head buzz. Two seconds afterwards, it was over. I could still remember it clearly, however, and remember the sense of disquieting dread and discomfort which remained.

There was nothing particularly gorgeous whatsoever in the blast except for the mere force behind it. We're used to cushiony things in this society. We're used to sugar-coating. We're used to being eased into things.

We're used to easy-clean linoleum and rack and pinion steering.

The blast was none of these things. I was examining the photograph I'd snapped of my girlfriend swimming in the pool. I'd taken it about a minute or so before the explosion. The calm before the storm was supremely deceptive.

~The suspense in waiting for the blast, divine.~

3 comments:

Cynthia said...

That's me swimming in the lake by my house. So what? Well, I learned to swim when I was 47 years old.

I always had a fear of the water. Didn't like my feet being off the ground, didn't like opening my eyes as the water pushed against them. Didn't like my nose running as my face came out of the water. But mostly I didn't like my feet not touching the earth.

My father loved the feeling of moving with his feet off the ground, and he tried to get me into the water. As a child, my family would spend summers in upper Michigan. There wasn't much to do except fish or swim in Lake Michigan. Still, I refused to let my body relax enough to float, to glide across the water. I chose to sit on the sand, sweating, swatting bugs, and watching others scream with delight as they happily swam.

What changed? What got me to finally take a breath, hold it, and, I hate to say it, take the plunge?

At the age of 67 my father suddenly dropped dead of a massive coronary. No warning. No good-bye. Just gone.

So I figured I better do it now. I may have only 20 years left on this earth.

And, despite a belly that's not flat, thighs that have thickened, and boobs that have sagged, I wear a bikini. I don't give a damn. I have some catching up to do.

Now, as I swim, I'm no longer afraid. I know my feet will touch the ground when I'm ready.

Now, as I swim, I think of my father. He's floating eternally.

I'm happy now. I hope he is, too.

Dragon said...

This girl isn't interested in her father's opinion. He's old-fashioned. He insists that modesty is the greatest virtue, that women must cover their bodies and stay in the company of those who can protect them.

The girl reads books at school. She thinks her father is wrong. First, she takes off her bulky sweaters in homeroom. She feels naked in a T-shirt. She likes it.

Then she talks to boys, mostly from the math team. It's nice.

She tells her father she is starting a prayer club at school. Then she gets a job at the drug store. She runs the cash register. She talks to everyone. With her first paycheck, she buys a bikini.

She tells her father she is going on a prayer retreat. She takes the bus to the beach. She swims by herself. She swims the entire day. Her legs and arms are tired, but she keeps swimming.

When the sun goes down, the girl swims back to the beach. The lifeguard says, "I was wondering if I'd have to bring you in."

The girl smiles. "I can take care of myself," she says. She sleeps on the beach. She swims all the next day.

On the bus ride homes, she makes up funny anecdotes to tell her father. He loves to hear about her imaginary prayer club friends.

Comrade Kevin said...

I possess a particularly nervous kind of personality. This was quite evident that afternoon when I felt the roaring, gutteral vibrations of a nearby explosion in the floorboards underneath me. It was a jarring and ragged feeling hard to easily articulate.

Like an unexpected obscenity, the shock waves rattled the wooden deck first, transformed the water of the swimming the pool to a choppy, frantic, swirling mass of waves, and then a fraction of a second later pulsed through the carpeted floor of the computer room, where I was writing.

I felt it through my legs first. Raw, vibrating, jagged. It made the inside of my head buzz. Two seconds afterwards, it was over. I could still remember it clearly, however, and remember the sense of disquieting dread and discomfort which remained.

There was nothing particularly gorgeous whatsoever in the blast except for the mere force behind it. We're used to cushiony things in this society. We're used to sugar-coating. We're used to being eased into things. We're used to easy-clean linoleum and rack and pinion steering.

The blast was none of these things.

I was examining the photograph I'd snapped of my girlfriend swimming in the pool. I'd taken it about a minute or so before the explosion. The calm before the storm was supremely deceptive.