Monday, October 16, 2006
The Lake In All Its Romantic Glory
I tipped a canoe over once, on purpose, in early March, during an unseasonably cold winter in Texas. My then-boyfriend and I had rented it for a day to take on Lake Mineral Wells (read Pit of Hell, Pit of Hell!) for something to kill the time during his college spring break. The boyfriend was a real piece of work -- my friends knew it, my parents did (my mother used to refer to him as "the politician" and do corny handshaking/smiling gestures to accompany this title -- oh, the sometimes wisdom of a mother, if we could only listen!), and even I did. Like Anne Sexton used to say about her prescription pills, I liked him a lot more than he liked me. He had a careless cruel streak about him, a person with that peculiar talent of finding your weak point and riding it for days. He was, in fact, one of Satan's minions.
That said, there we were on the lake in all its romantic glory, talking about what his psychiatric practice might be like one day (God help us all, this was his chosen career path) and he started to row toward a place where I had seen a nest of snakes the summer before. I asked him to go the other direction, begged in fact, which made him row harder. Physically, he wasn't much, a skinny man with glasses and weak arms, a man who couldn't swim, was, in fact, afraid of the water. I started rowing the other way and threatened to tip the canoe if he didn't stop. You would never do that, he said, smug. You're too nice. We're all wrong sometimes. I turned the thing upside down. The cold water enveloped us, and I took off my army jacket and made it into a flotation device. The boyfriend struggled and cried out, trying to keep ahold of his glasses and cling to an old oil derrick. I watched him for a minute, the way you might a roach struggling to free itself. I threw my army jacket to him and swam us both to shore. I didn't feel cold at all; he caught hypothermia. Spring break, for all intents and purposes, was over.
Michelle's Spell of the Day
"Please die I said/ so I can write about it." Margaret Atwood
Drinking movie suggestion: Eating -- this is a great pseudo-documentary (it's fiction filmed in a documentary-like way) about women and food. The only place I've ever been able to find it is Thomas Video. It's only on VHS.
Benedictions and Maledictions
Congratulations to the Tigers for making it to the World Series!