Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Jenny Drai, Are You Going To Go In The Ocean Or What?

Dedicated to that young couple awkwardly
trying to make it in the sand. Be safe!

Had you better not. You had better,
surely. Yes, you’re right as usual. I had
better just right now I won’t quite yet
but soon. Are you frightened.
I am. But you don’t like to admit it.
True enough. That’s why I’m
biting fingernails to shreds. Well,
maybe you had better not after all.
No I want to. The payoff will be huge.
Your heart is thumping. I can see your
throat jumping. Well, this is
difficult for me. Of course it is.
It’s not easy for me either. But you’re
not afraid of anything. Oh, I assure you
I am. For example, I will not
drink very cold water directly before
bedtime. I hardly know what
to say to that. Don’t say anything.
Just give me your hand. Well, here it is.
What are we going to do. We are going
to wait. What else are you
afraid of. I will not eat hot pizza
pies for at least five minutes
after they are cooked. It sounds like you just
have sensitive teeth. That is different
from being really, truly afraid of something.
Hush. Watch the waves and the crest
of the waves. What are we going to do after
we wait. We are going to stroll across
the grains of sand. You’re really
going to make me do this, aren’t you.
Yes. Do I have to get my face wet.
Yes. You have to jump through at least
one wave. What if a shark swims past
and bumps my leg. I would pass out
and drown. The statistical proba-
bility of—Don’t talk to me about statistics
when it comes to sharks! You’re not being
rational. Maybe not. But I am addicted
to not ending up in the sharp, snapping
jaws of death. Our conversation
tires me. I’m not going to talk
this over with you anymore. You are
obviously determined to remain
irrational. Sure, irrational and alive.
You can go swim in the ocean and be shark
bait if you want. I’m going to sit right
here and drink beer until I sunburn. Chicken.
Who’s a chicken. You’re a daredevil.
We could compromise. You could just get
your feet wet. And get seaweed
on my legs? Let me pound back my golden
canned beer first. And maybe another one.
For luck. This is getting ridiculous.
I agree. We should stop. I think
I saw a jellyfish.

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