Monday, July 4, 2011

It's Not Me, It's You

Dear inflatable kayak, prop yourself up, dry yourself off. We need to have a talk.

How to begin? we've been together for a while now. I still remember the day you entered my life. We've been through a lot. Some spills, some quiet moments. It seems the spills are getting a little more treacherous and the quiet moments, well, they're just because you don't go very fast, do you?

Look, there's no easy way to say it.

I think it's time we break up.

Sure, you're orange and cool-looking and people ooh and ahh when they see you get inflated and marvel at the novelty of it all. And no one's denying your ease of transport. Now, now, don't get upset. I am saying you get around. But in a good way.

But you see, it's this whole lack of maneuverability. The fact that you won't stay straight. The undeniable truth that it takes 4-5 strokes to get you to where a normal kayak would need one, if that....It's all getting to be kind of an issue.

You had to see this coming, right? Oh c'mon. Be honest with yourself. That day last month when we went out with our friends? Yes, those friends. The ones with real kayaks who kindly waited at every turn for us to huff and puff our way to them. The friends who could reach behind into their waterproof compartments (compartments!) and grab an ice cold beer and chat and laugh the whole while floating down the creek. Envy consumed me! Why can't you stay pointed in one direction? Why is that so hard?

It was then that I realized,
It's not me. It's you.

And I've been trying hard to tame my wandering eye but since that trip, it just hasn't been the same. Today was your chance to redeem yourself.

You didn't.

Getting flipped in the rapids and the rocks wasn't that big of a deal, especially since neither M or I got hurt and all I lost was a pair of sunglasses. Nice ones, but replaceable. I ain't mad atcha. But the waterlogged slog to the next island...that was tedious. And then mooring in the quicksand? Yeah, that sucked too. Literally.

Hey, what's black and comfortable and buried in 3 feet of gunk?
M's favorite and only pair of flip flops, that's what.

All of that, and miles still to paddle home. Wet, now muddy. In moods as foul as the funky smell of river muck that clung to us.

Nothing's easy with you. Nothing!

All of this would be bearable if you weren't a metaphor for so much more. If M and I weren't left sweating and cursing and plodding through waters that everyone else around us are cutting through effortlessly. Others skim and glide. Frolic and laugh. We splash and tip, knock against rocks and lose things along the way. I look out my window at this gorgeous river and see everyone on it. All I want to be is there. You get me there and then remind me that I do not have and cannot have what everyone else does.

And I still have a to find a way to get myself home.


Inflatable kayak, I think we need some time apart. I don't think I have to put myself through this. Quite frankly, I think I can do better. I know I can do better.

I am in search of a new way to get where I want to be.


Smiling said...

Come row with me.. we will slice the water so fast and there will be wind and speed and the glory of oar puddles sailing away behind us!! Who cares that you are flying backwards! they can try to chase us in their hard-shelled kayaks

But seriously, I really really hear you.

". Others skim and glide. Frolic and laugh. We splash and tip, knock against rocks and lose things along the way. ... do not have and cannot have what everyone else does."

Man -- that's exactly it. How it feels to me. how utterly hard, because it isn't living in 2 different worlds, its living in a very different world right next to the other, elusive one...

I am amazed at how many metaphors for this 'situation' (what do you call this thing that we are in..) crop up in the average day. Now it is the subtle ones that get me right through the heart!

Hugs M.

m said...

Somehow I knew this one would resonate with you as well. Man, yesterday's trip sucked. And it just shouldn't have. I LOVE the water, and I cannot understand when it decided to hate me. And it seems that getting toppled really, really sticks with me for a couple of days, wakes me up at night. Sigh.

The worst part about yesterday was looking over and seeing M. slap the water with his paddles in frustration and disgust. And knowing it was so much more than a soaked boat and lost shoes....

I would love, LOVE to come row with you. Even if we're flying backwards.

And hey, here's a happy note: we totally redeemed the day with a last minute stroll over to the baseball game. packed stands, some star player's debut, running into friends who've deemed us their "new favorite couple friends" and big coronas. The day regained.

Smiling said...

Awesome way to redeem your day! Maybe one day we can hit the water together, and then in classic rowing tradition, hit the coronas!

I am really sorry to read about both of your pain. Sometimes I don't know if I wish my partner was that frustrated and slapping the water or if it would just make it even harder. I certainly don't have my husband's zen master abilities. But I also am seeing that things that used to destroy me just make me wistful now. (Today I took my monthly preg test (dr orders.. and I'm really bad at remembering to do this) and deliberately left the box in the girls bathroom trash bin to start rumors... and laughed secretly all morning about it. Not sure if that is an improvement, but better than my old hiding in the bathroom crying routine!)

For me, the photos on facebook, the xmas cards etc don't hit with the same zing... but the metaphors like the kayak do. They slap almost harder in fact. Even songs on the radio that are about bad men, loves lost, etc get all twisted in my head till I'm crying on the subway to With or without you to the bewilderment of the folks around me.

yeah, let's go row! that sounds fun:)