Life is short – and we are given so many endless days to endure how short it is. Pepper stole my pen last week, thankfully.
And by pen, I mean peck.
As in screen peck.
The way we all write now.
And by write, I mean tap.
People think Pepper’s name is Pieta.
Even her parents do.
I might be the only one who thinks differently about the matter, but I think she might as well… Some days.
As a dot connector, it seemed obvious you two should meet in person.
Her on a stage with guitar clutch and lip flip warble…
…And you in attendance, with a lent ear and a pried-open heart.
Mutually beneficial, sez the connector of dots.
Still no word from Mark.
Last I heard, his ‘travel agent’ had confused Taiwan with Thailand, yet, still, left his Mark in Bangor instead of Bangkok.
Where was I…
In a sea of heart break.
Or, south of Seattle in the Puget Sound; in a section of the massive water way called ‘Gig Harbor’, which, of course, refers to a form of fishing by tri-bladed spear.
Although my drowning was very peaceful, it was sincerely unsettling that a couple of my children were on shore looking on in perplexity.
I was stuck at sea, only about 500 yards of brink from them, but the tide had changed its mind concerning our reunion, and began sealing my fate to become dinner for the crabs instead.
There was the sheer annoyance of having five layers of clothing on because it was September in the great Northwest, and cold while riding up on the boat.
Now, all those layers, along with the laced up ankle high red wings – farmer’s work boots – were impeding any progress to reacquaint my footing with terrafirma.
The final straw was the water’s temperature.
At first, refreshing in the startling plunge when the boat overturned, it was now working its allure of hypothermia.
This chill was mixing it up with my intense genetics of procrastination.
I tend to put things off. It’s a family tradition. I’m doing it now, in fact, writing this.
As I tread the surface, too far from shore within tidal influence, and convincingly beyond capacity of swimming back to the overturned vessel much further out now, the single most relevant thought in my head was to now just take a nap.
Deal with this later.
The small waves were just toying with me now.
Providing a lulling.
Every seventh one would slap my face.
Not so much to scold, but to prepare me… a basting
…An aqua acquiescence.
That was that.
Not a bad way to go.
Especially for my kids baring witness.
My kids shouldn’t have to deal with this lazy b*****’s inclination for an ill-timed siesta.
Only then, was I able to hear that extremely quiet wee other voice in my head: “Swim back to the boat, you idiot.”
And so, with no available strength left, and a will that was already in the past tense, I gave it a go anyway.
Due to the tidal flux working with me now in this new direction, it took only three strokes to make it back to the boat that seemed miles away.
I pulled myself up on its overturned hull, and instantly began to revive some – enough to be able to kick and propel the upside down vessel towards shore.
Seeing the kids there made ya wanna stay awake long enough to see how this thing was going to end.
Once on land, I shedded my five layers.
Holy moly, that was a lot of weight to ditch!
My fingers were so numb it took an hour inside a hot shower to revive most of them.
We then had crab for dinner.
I did not shed a small salty tear for the unwritten epitaph that woulda been in the fish wrap the following day: ‘Songwriter halo globetrotter drowned in sound at gig’.
Pepper says that’s my real name…
– Any Howe.
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