Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Adrift

It’s like being adrift at sea, constantly having to fight the waves and current so that you don’t slip under. Occasionally a piece of drift wood might float by and if you’re lucky, you’ll catch it. But even at that, it being drift wood, water-logged and rotted, after some time it starts to crack and break apart under your weight. You cry out in panic as it begins to disintegrate in your hands, leaving you floundering, trying to recover, coughing and spluttering, gasping for air, praying someone will save you or that maybe, you can figure out how to save yourself.


photo credit here



You know land is out there somewhere. Once or twice you’ve caught a glimpse of it. You thought you even saw a small group of people there. They were partying, gathered around a fire and possibly dancing. Damn them! While you’re trapped out here, treading water, completely exhausted. You start praying another bit of drift wood will come along, you’re always praying for that. And once you catch a piece, you pray it will last until you can get out of the water... or, at least, until another piece comes your way.

It's hard to breath. And a numbness has set in, whether from the elements or from fatigue you're not sure. You feel as if pieces of you might just start sloughing off in thick sections one layer at a time until there’s nothing left of you. At first, your mind was able to escape the water even if you couldn’t, but now... now, you begin to ponder how easy it would be to let go, to just stop moving. To drown. It’s the noise of it all that gets to you most. That constant, maddening wind and wave, that constant roaring input. It won’t let you escape anymore. But to drown... Maybe then, yes, possibly then, someone would come and rescue you--either way, at least it would be an escape. 

You’ve seen it before. Had your heart begin to race when the chopper came into view. Though you can’t see the others out there, you know they are there, you know because of the chopper. It comes from time to time. It comes and frees the other slaves of the great water. It took you some time, but you finally figured out why it came for others, but never yet for you. It only comes when someone is actually drowning, when they’ve decided to stop fighting, to stop moving, to give into the depths. Or perhaps haven't decided at all, but just cannot go on. That is what tipped you off, those shouts of terror. Those few moments of horrific, terrifying death that sometimes you can hear. When someone is drowning not because they’ve given up and simply slipped away, but rather because their bodies won’t hold out any more. Those moments where the mind is still willing, but the body is not. The cries and splashing... and then the chopper dropping its ladder to pull a half-drowned body or two from the water, if it's lucky. More often than not, those bodies are limp, grotesquely hanging at odd angles, dangling from the rope.  They're already dead.

You pray they’ll come for you. But you know they won’t. They won’t come because right now your head is still above the surface. Do you dare allow it to sink for that chance of rescue? How else is it to be accomplished? How did those others figure a way out? You are so tired, so water-logged, so numbed, how will you ever reach the shore on your own? It’s a perpetual trap and no matter how much you fight against it you just can’t seem to escape.

Yes, my friends, that is exactly what it's like. What debt is like. You see, the Devil himself invented credit.

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