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

Cocktail Hour

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!

13 comments:

Captain Morgan said...

While on a sailing outing on Lake St. Clair, I got into an argument with a young lady and, to show my displeasure, jumped onto a bouy. This was a chain-anchored bouy. Not very stable. My loafers got all wet. After rescuing me, the captain of the sailboat gave me a shot of whiskey and told me that he agreed with my argument. I didn't get hypothermia.

Captain said...

Hey, Michelle, that black and white photo got me all out of whack, so much so that I spelled "buoy" wrong in the above post. It's a word a should never forget.

Cappy said...

That last sentence in the above post is really fucked up.

Cap said...

Sorry for the vulgarity.

ap said...

glug,glug...

Joe the bartender said...

I'm cutting you off, AP.

AP said...

Go Tigers! And don't let the door hit me in the ass.

Sheila said...

Your old boyfriend is a piece of work! I've known guys like that...

r's musings said...

Those lifeguard lessons sure paid dividends that day! Was his name Woody, by any chance? lol Sounds exactly like somebody I once knew...

paul said...

O Mighty Isis Foxy Lady Cajun QUeen rock on snakes and skinny mens give me the willies but you rock R2 C2! ShazaMMM!

halo effect said...

You should try the element of surprise more often with men, it suits you. You're much better than most of them, you know ;)

Anonymous said...

Mi, it did not need to go so far! Pra that to drown the young man? (laughs) Some questions in the light, if to want to answer... beijus

JR's Thumbprints said...

Here it is a day later, and I too will be drowning in liquid. Luckily, my wife will keep my head above water. (Or at least I hope so.)