Nothing I Can Do About it Now

June 9, 2008

Texas Summer

Filed under: Uncategorized — dregina @ 3:55 pm

Saturday night found Cristian and I towelling off after a quick dip in Barton Springs. A handful of other Austinites were there, taking advantage of the free hour before close. The diving board created a steady backdrop of rhythm to a quiet hum of conversation all around.  Two kids who looked to be about 12 or 13 came ambling up the sidewalk and stopped to stand at the pool’s edge just in front of us. The water is as cold as it is blue, but the smaller one hesitated for only a moment before leaping in, t-shirt, flip-flops and all.

“That was dumb. He’s going to be cold with no dry shirt,” Cristian said. Two years of teaching middle school has given Cristian an eagle eye for the folly of youth.

The kid bobbed up fast as a cork and swam with choppy desperation for the stairs. He was back out of the water faster than he went in, but that didn’t stop him from shoving and heckling his friend, a giant, handsome lug of a boy. “You haven’t jumped in yet?! You wuss! Jump! Jump, you asshole!” 

 Before my concious mind was even aware I had made the decision to open my mouth, the words were out. “He hasn’t jumped in yet because the water is really fucking cold.I said. “Lay off.”

Both kids looked at me in shock. Then the bigger kid looked back at the smaller kid and said, “Yeah, the water’s really fucking cold, asshole,”  and cannonballed off the side. The smaller kid leaped after him. Cristian and I turned to leave.

“I can’t believe I just cursed in front of those kids. I didn’t even think about it until the words were out of my mouth,” I said.  “It wasn’t even a conscious choice! I shouldn’t be let out of the house without a muzzle.”

“Really?” Cristian said, “You made me jealous. The cursing is what made that work. If I could curse in the classroom like that I’d get a lot more respect.” He squeezed my arm just above my elbow as we walked out the gate to the car, flip-flops squelching on the pavement. It was 93 degrees at nine forty five at night, and you could see bats flying under the orange glow of the parking lot’s high pressure sodium lights.

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June 2, 2008

IGNORANCE IS THE MOTHER OF FEAR

Filed under: Uncategorized — dregina @ 11:31 am

So I was in the middle of watching Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me Saturday when I heard my phone ring from the other room. Even though it was smack in the middle of a sunny afternoon and I had two huge dogs on either side of me, I was worked up into enough of a lather to jump when I heard the phone. But then I was RELIEVED, because now I could pause the movie and give my adrenal glands a little break from pumping out the coritsol I would need should Bob leap out of the tv set and come after me.

I wrapped up the phone call and came back to the movie, which was smack in the middle of a terrifying long shot of an empty, featureless hallway in an office building. The florescent lighting and greenish hue of the hallway paint was menacing in a dreamlike way, and the shot just went on forever and ever and ever. There was an elevator bank and three doorways off the hallway, and no way to tell which one the monster would spring from. I scootched as far back into the couch as I could and marveled at David Lynch’s ability to pack such menace into a still shot of an empty hallway. STILL nothing happened. I realized my breath was shallow, and that I was clutching the remote to my chest as though it were some sort of breastplate.

Still nothing.

Still nothing.

Still nothing.

And then – suddenly – the screen turned black!

And the Sony logo began bouncing across it, from one side to the other.

And that would be when I realized that I’d been frozen in fear for at least two solid minutes in front of a paused movie.

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