Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Don't you want to stay til there's no one else around?

This one was at the beach. The pool is the Atlantic. I don't remember the house, it might have been the weird triple-story one that had seen better days. I was stung by a jellyfish, not a blob but a badass one that had tentacles that left heavy red welts across both of my legs at the knee, welts that lasted well after vacation ended, because I was showing them off to friends back home. I was clinging to my canvas raft, going woop-woooo over the waves, facing the horizon, imagining we could head out there. Occasionally we'd turn around and try to ride a crest to the shoreline, and when you caught it at the right time, bounced and hurled forward on its foam, it was the best, happiest, and most slightly-dangerous thrill. Maybe it was one of those times, turning from east to west that the jelly brushed past me, I felt it passing, and then fire. Pain, fire, that I can't remember now how it felt but I remember that it hurt, more than anything, more than scraping both knees in a single tumble at summer camp, from which I still have scars. The jellyfish welts have disappeared.

I was rescued by my dad and ministered by relatives and a lifeguard who poured ammonia from a jug he had at his chair just for this reason.

I didn't go back in the water the rest of the week, but I still wanted to stay, stay oceanside forever. Til there's no one else around.

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