Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Indonesia: Getting Closer

Instructions for the use of this short story: 1. Read Indonesia: Getting Answers first. 2. Turn off the lights. 3. Play the music. 4. Read with caution.

There are many things in this world that scare me:

·          Monkeys
·         Freeway driving
·         Zip-lining
·         Airplanes
·         Crowds
·         Swimming in the ocean
·         Clowns
·         Toads
·         Commitment
·         Caves

     While this list is by no means exhaustive, it does give you an indication that my fears are both plentiful and varied.

     Most of the time, I can suck it up and do shit anyway. Case in point:

     Here I am suspended from a horrible, horrible zip line.

Right there in the middle.

     Here I am swimming in the ocean.

It's just how I swim. Wanna fight about it?

     Here I am in a previous long-term relationship.

Yup, one of those happy campers is me.

     But, and I have friends who can attest to this, I really suck at caves. I wouldn’t mind them so much if they would just sit still for a moment, but the minute I step inside, the ground begins the undulate, the walls spin around me as if I were the focal point in a zoetrope and the roof draws perilously close. I can’t see straight. I can’t walk straight. And I’m pretty sure the cave is filling up with poison gas and suffocating me.

     “Where are you going?” the boy on the bicycle asked me.

     “To visit with the wise man who lives in the forest.”

     “Where are you coming from?”

     I pointed behind me.

     He nodded, accepting my salutation and then offered only this bit of cryptic advice: “Mind the bats.”

     At the edge of town, I learned what he meant.


Photos courtesy of Gaylen Burnside, Connie Freeland, Elie Wasser and Ryan Marsh (in order of their appearance).

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