Tuesday, April 29, 2008
I haven't been swimming in forever. When I was in my teens, my dad had purchased a big yellow boat. I found out later that he payed for this boat, with pot money. Yep, you heard me. Pot money. One day while I was 19, I was helping him move a bunch of lights and equipment, I ask "what's all this for?". He stops and looks up at me, as if I should know. "For growing pot", he answers. My jaw drops. Is he being serious? ..."What?". He raises an eyebrow, tilts his head a little bit in one direction, and then chuckles. "You didn't know?". ...um, no I didn't know. "How do you think we payed for the boat?". I don't know dad, I was 14 years old, boats come out of thin air as far as I'm concerned!! We sit down on boxes and he starts telling me in detail, about the super secret room in our old house that he had to get to by crawling through cabinets. Apparently this is something he had done all my life. Well. Alright then. Now that that's out in the open. So we used to take this yellow boat out on various lakes during the summer. As soon as my dad would get home from work we'd go. I'd usually have a friend or two over, and we would have got everything ready so that as soon as he pulled in the driveway we could hook up the boat trailor, jump in the Mud Duck (that's the name of my dad's big brown 80's looking mini monster truck, if you can picture it) and haul ass to water. The sooner we got there, the more time we'd have in the sun! I wasn't as self conscious back then. I had no problem getting in a swim suit. My friends and I would jump off the side of the boat out in the middle of the lake. I was always afraid that something would come up and touch my feet though. We had a couple of tubes that we played on, and if we had enough people, we'd hook up both of them at the same time. My dad was really good at driving the boat in a way that didn't promote crashing. But when he wanted to, he'd maneuver just right, so that one tube crashed into the other, and both people went flying. One time I got tossed so far, I landed towards the side of the lake, and my legs got tangled in lake muck. I started panicking, as if a sea creature was trying to swallow my chunky pasty white stems. We always wore life vests, so I knew I wouldn't drown. But I really did think that if I looked down, I would have seen swamp thing smiling back at me. The boat was so far away, since my dad had swung around to pick up my friend Syd (the other crash victim) first. I thought that because nobody was looking at me, my chances of lake monster death were higher. I knew that as soon as I could see the orange flag coming my way, I'd be safe. Waiting was the worst part. But finally, my rescue. What took them so long?! Crashing on the tube was nothing new to me. It happened 10 times a day or more. And while it hurt, it sure was fun. But crashing on the tube, into classic horror movie water logged tangled plant life, that was another story. I decided to stay out of the water for a few days. I think after 3 days on land I gave up and had to get back in the boat and on the lake. On a very sad day, the boat broke down. Things kept breaking, and eventually it ended up sitting in a storage garage at my dads friends house. He swore he would fix it "next summer". A wind storm caused a tree to fall over onto the storage garage, and it was bye bye boat. So since then, I really haven't been swimming. One day (I was about 21?) we called up Christopher's sister (Hybrid Hopes) and boyfriend, who lived down the street from us in Southeast Portland. We all hopped into my topless convertible Kia Sportage and headed down to Rooster Rock, a beach park on the Columbia River. When we got there, we were surprised to see that the water was way too low and disgusting to go swimming in. But wait... how was the water on the nudist half of the beach? There was no law saying we had to take our clothes off. And what are the chances that anyone else will be there anyways? Lets go! So we head off down a mysterious trail. At one point we split up. Christopher, Steph, and I go one way. Andy goes another. We walk forever and ever, through tall brush, with bugs swarming all around us. Okay, we've been walking for way too long now. We keep walking. Still walking. Walk walk walk. *alskjdlkj* What was that?! RUN! We're running now, because something moved, and we don't know what it was, and we don't know where we are, and who's idea was it to go swimming anyways?! Running. Run run run. Stop!...is that? ... yes! It is! I see sand! Finally, we come to a clearing. With beach. Oh beautiful sand and water, why have you been hiding from us? Andy is on the phone, saying hes found a nice area to go swimming. Now we just have to find him. The phone cuts out. Of course. We start yelling for him. He's nowhere in sight, and he obviously can't hear us. Suddenly there are people. They're not Andy, but maybe they've seen Andy. Ohmygosh. They're not wearing any pants. They've got shirts on, and hats, and... no pants. Eye contact. Focus. Don't look down. We start talking to the men, and turns out they have seen Andy. They point us in his direction, and after they're gone, we all stare at each other, wondering the same thing. Did that really just happen? Were we really just talking to 60 year old men wearing no pants? We walk over a hill, and there's Andy. OK, we came here to swim, not get lost in the jungle and avoid looking at old men's penises. When we get to our jumping off point, I flashback to the seaweed monster. I can't do it. The slimy murky water looks and feels too much like sewage to me. Everyone else enjoys the water, and I sit back on the sand getting eaten by mosquito's. West Nile virus here I come. Its starting to get dark now, so we head off. We come to a point in the trail, where it separates into about 5 paths. Which one do we choose? To continue along with our teenage horror movie trip to the beach, we choose a path, that of course turns out to be the wrong path. Halfway down the walkway, it turns into a swamp. Well its too late to turn back now. It starts getting darker. The swamp gets worse. There is no longer any dry land. Its all mud. Remember an hour ago when I didn't want to go swimming because I thought the sewage would feel gross in between my toes? Well now I'm up to my calf in the stuff. I can hardly walk. Lifting my legs is like picking up 10 pounds with my big toe. Who knows whats living in this goop. I'm positive a monster is going to pop out and eat us all any second. I'm putting all of my weight on Christopher, because my flip flops are no longer on my feet, and every step holds a new surprise. Its darker now. The sun has gone down. We could die out here. Nobody knows where we are, and without the light of the sun, we'll be goners. I start crying. I really think we're going to die. Steph and Andy are much farther ahead than me and Christopher. Just when all hope is lost, they announce that they can see the end of the trail. I'm alive! On the way leaving the park, there were giant sprinklers watering the lawns. We parked the car, and I got out and ran through the refreshing clean water. Oh, that's so much better. When we got home we were sore and tired. Not only did we have a zillion mosquito bites, sunburns, and knowledge of how big of a wimp Tia is. But we all lost our shoes in one way or another. Ugh. I haven't been swimming in forever.
Plush-a-Pod", by beeskneesindustries, $13.00.
-"Dead Sea Mineral Mud -Facial Mask", by ayelet17, $7.50.