Monday, October 15, 2007
Emergencies That Strum The Heart
I once saw an epileptic teenage boy named Lawrence jump off the high dive a the swimming pool where I worked. He had a seizure between the diving board and the water and hit the cement and then slipped into the pool where the lifeguard on duty grabbed the backboard and pulled him up to the surface. The ambulance came and took Lawrence away, blood all over the cement to mop. Lawrence's best friend, a boy with a cleft-palate that everyone used to call Hairlip John was inconsolable for a few minutes and then went back to jumping on other swimmers' heads. The pool was a place of both joy and sorrow, much like the world of sex. It was no surprise that I read Fear of Flying that summer bought for one dollar at a thrift store by my dad who thought it was a sweet young adult novel written by an "adorable Jewish girl who really is scared of planes."
I always hated those commercials that utilized the diving into the empty pool and ending up with a broken neck motif as a way of expressing danger -- don't do drugs, don't invest poorly, don't neglect getting check-ups. The ads never showed the end damage -- just the empty cement and an ominous warning. Some of the especially adventurous ones showed the person mid-dive, right before coming to reality with all that cement. I already had dreams of drowning; did I need this bullshit? It didn't matter if the pool was full, half-empty, or drained. I dreamt of Lawrence's ill-fated jump often. I dealt with water day in and day out, but it still haunted me. Sometimes I guarded the pool at night for private parties -- the mosquitoes would come out then and begin to eat you alive. The people in the pool looked like shadows and light and you were never quite sure when they'd come up for air.
Michelle's Spell of the Day
"I haven't got the slightest idea how to change people, but still I keep a long list of prospective candidates just in case I should ever figure it out." David Sedaris
Drinking Detroit band suggestion: Groove Council
Benedictions and Maledictions