4.23.2011

What a Horrible Night to Have a Curse

The three feet of water we've been wading through on our journey down the strange coastline instantly turns into a violent 30 foot swell when a bizarre turbo-propeller-ed craft stirs up an intense wake as it executes a suicide run on a nondescript administrative structure. Amongst the large objects roiling in the impossible tumult of brackish seawater is a school bus that attempts a death roll, sucking us towards certain doom under its ample tonnage. I fight for both of us, pulling us away through the treacherous currents to safety some hundred feet away. We emerge choking onto the shore in front of a throng of amazed onlookers and are quickly spirited into the aforementioned structure to be tended to and questioned excitedly about our incredible survival. When an answer is expected of me to one such question, posed by a doting female medic, I find that I cannot speak: adrenaline has left my throat dry as bone and incapable of producing sound. I grunt for someone, anyone to answer the persistent and now annoying questions. Meanwhile, the pilot of the attacking craft has somehow survived and some semblance of an explanation for his actions is being wrung out of him. His seacraft and another like it, with their giant propellers mounted underneath an awkward cockpit, wait nearby on shore.

I wake up in darkness, unable to swallow into a parched throat, my saliva like cotton on my tongue. Only after a few panic-stricken moments do my glands relent and reconstitute my desiccated mouth enough for it to swallow. Relieved, I slip back into relatively untroubled sleep.

This winter has been rife with the arbitrariness of nightmare. Bouts of listlessness punctuated by thankless toil and the penury of a costly existence have weighed almost as heavily on my psyche as the oppressively monochromatic skies and sodden air. Deeply ensconced in the monotony and alcoholism that defines city living, I railed against it even as I resigned myself to it, only to emerge penniless and enraged.

Then there were the mountains, laced in veils of winter white and soaring to craggy aeries far above, gleaming in the light of a sun nowhere found in the fog of any recent memory. The rumble of a remote avalanche punctuated a clear morning pregnant with the promises of a Spring freshly exhumed from its winter tomb. My favorite cliffs were bathed in morning light and as I put foot to rock, my spirit emerged from the dour, bleached-bone catacombs to jubilate in the pine-crisp air.

The hellhounds of winter, with their turboprops and deranged, be-goggled pilots, have finally been sucked out with the tide. While the confounding grey skies will continue to blight the land until June, the new morning sun has most certainly vanquished the evil night of winter and daybreak is upon us. Onwards to Spring!