Sunday, July 3, 2011


I'm pretty sure I was reading some Lacan-esque French theory, something about a sea lion/regular lion and a polar bear, and recognizing the Other or some such business. I'm not sure if I was studying this while at the beach, or if the elaborate literary metaphor sort of just came alive for me, but at some point I was definitely being rocked by the waves.

The tide on this U-shaped beach was coming in, though, and I decided I was done with the water. When the waves pulled back, a whitish pebbly beach was revealed at the bottom of the U, and I ran across to get the backpack(s) and corkscrew (?!) that I'd left there on a ledge. Back on the other side, the door to the hotel/apartment/dorm was locked, so a beach employee (?!) kindly let me in. It was an odd sort of industrial-looking stairwell, so as she was in there with me, I asked her whether I'd be able to get out on my floor. She was assuring me that I would, just as she received a message, which I couldn't decipher, on her radio.

"Up!" she said to me. "Up! Run!"

"What happened?" I asked, as I started up the stairs. "What is it?"

"Up, up!" she shouted, pushing me. "Go!"

I was struck by the realization that we were trying to make it to higher ground, because a tsunami was coming. I tried to run faster, taking two steps at a time, but my legs were tired and then we started to run into crowds in the stairwell, also trying to get up to higher ground. They were quite orderly and not pushing or shoving--primarily just polite and a bit bemused.

Suddenly it got darker in the stairwell, and I realized the wave was coming. There was a window in the stairwell, separated by a gap of several feet from where I stood on the stairs. As I looked out, I saw a wall of water rising, in incredible colors--glowing sage-y green, then golden, then red. It reached up to a few inches above the window, and then sank, and I thought, with relief, that we were all going to be fine. But then came what I instantly knew was the Second Wave, higher than the first, and I could feel the foundations of the building shaking. This wave filled the window with incredible sparkling droplets of water, glowing red. I thought to myself that I might well die, but even if it did, it would be after seeing the most beautiful scene of my life--and that it would be okay.

1 comment:

strovska said...

wow, that's a really interesting combination of scary and beautiful.