Bio Note: I’m still trying to survive the quarantine by rereading Amis here in Amish country.
I never got a chance to thank those EMT’s who somehow got to that little Welsh village so soon after the stroke, put the tube into her throat and with what looked like a clear American football, squeezed air into her lungs, though it was 4th down and fifty with only seconds left. They said at the hospital that she was already dead, then not, then surely by morning, depending on which doctor came into the fluorescent waiting room. So I prayed to any god that was handy, and especially in the little chapel, full of Welsh Methodists, who love rugby, the earth-bound cluster-fuck of the scrum, the lineout, the maul, the try. But we were Americans, and knew they didn’t know about the kind of bomb you can catch, and they certainly had never heard, until we taught them, about the Hail Mary, and how, sometimes, it works.
You’d think the sky this summer would’ve run out of water, and the local kayakers and canoeists evidently thought it had. Now their bodies are being pulled from the caffeinated latte of the creeks and rivers. Almost as dumb as when the four of us, young sailors, thought we'd have our own Deliverance, and with nothing but a cooler full of Spam, bread, and Kool-Aid, but no life jackets, set sail on the river seventeen feet above flood stage. The first day went swimmingly, the second only swimming when we were snagged and tipped out like a bad hammock. If I hadn’t seen the seat cushion, my boon dockers and dungarees would have filled, and thereby fulfilled my destiny, and the fairground gypsy’s forecast. My second round was with the surf whose snaggle teeth of rotten pilings wrapped me up in my stringer of fish then put me through a rinse cycle. Now I stick to dry land, though I watch all the fishing shows, and the weather channel for the big-shouldered shadows, remembering her prophecy and the grubby deck of cards, especially the one about death, water, and fear.
©2020 William Greenway
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