Monday, May 26, 2008

sunday part I. the dive

so i've been spending most of my time outside work with alice. she's a tall, confident, funny marine biology phD student from maputo. she has lots of funny stories and we get along great. in the meantime, she won't let me out of her sight. seriously, if i want to go across the street for coffee or something it's wait for me, i'll come with! i think she's terrified i'll get strangled or something and the course won't go on. the thing is, this place is really safe. the security guards are mostly barefoot, and don't carry guns, only billy clubs. and most of the time they are on their backs, feet up against a wall, staring at the sky, and likely asleep. they have perfected the plastic chair nap. if more went on in this town, they would have something to stay awake for.
anyway, at the beach, alice is like my mom. she sits by my clothes while i play with the kids and swim. she makes sure i'm always walking on the sidewalks. she also makes sure i get my projects done so this trip is feeling a lot less like a vacation and a lot more like work. so i'm pretty certain she wanted a break, which is why she sent me diving sunday morning.
the day was totally crappy and windy, the worst for diving. but i went anyway. i thought it would be good for me to be underwater with my thoughts, relax. we get in this teeny tiny boat and motor over the waves and i'm instantly soaked. and i'm the only idiot who brought a towel, which is now as wet as my hair.
i always sortof freak out during the first part of a dive, because it's like, oh my god! i'm breathing underwater this is SO weird! and it takes a moment to adjust. well the entire group sank to the bottom like a bunch of lead weights. so i'm drifting there, all by myself, trying to adjust my fins, get situated and the guide comes up and is all are you ok? are you ok? with the little diving signs...yes, i'm fine...i'm coming and i'm delaying the whole group so they're like, who's the amateur? so i go down real fast, which i hate to do, and i get a little dizzy and i can't see much and my eyes are focusing on all the crap right in front of my nose, the crap that's getting stirred up by the wind and i'm all what if these are actually little stingy bugs like they had in panama? what if they get in my underpants? what if my regulator leaks? can anyone see that i'm farting? is my heart beating too fast? what do bubbles in your brain feel like? and so on and so forth.
so much for being alone with my thoughts. i'm pretty sure i'm not getting enough air, and so i'm breathing fast, but you don't want to be the loser that runs out of air first, because then the whole group has to surface and everyone is all thanks for ruining my $50 honeymoon dive, jerk.
so i'm trying to calm down, breathe slooooow and then i'm looking at my hands to see if they're pale or whatever and then i'm wondering why we have 10 fingers and toes and not a multiple of 4, which seems more natural and then my dive buddy is all are you ok? are you ok? and he won't leave me alone and then i see this big fish and i'm all YUSSSSS like my friend meg says, and then i wonder how my softball team is doing, or if my cat will be alive when i come home and then i'm wondering if my cat could ever understand that i'm underwater, thinking about her, and then i figure i haven't really looked at anything and i see another big fish and say YUSSSSSS and then i realize how ridiculous it is that i'm saying YUSSSSS off the coast of africa 90 feet underwater and then i realize that i'm 90 feet underwater, holy crap, that's deep. you can't see the surface! how do i know which way is up?
diving is [retty fun, right? i go over and swim near the weird german couple who is taking pictures of each other. they're weird because i noticed up in the boat that the guy shaves his entire body, head, chest, arms, legs, swimmer style, but the girl doesn't shave, either she's attracted to hairless guys, or he's attracted to hairy girls, or both. which is it?
then it's time to go. 54 minutes just flew by. there was lots of soft coral, whatever. it wasn't really relaxing.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Isn't being underwater thinking about your cat what you were shooting for in the first place?

This was in the third largest bay in the world, right? Amazing.