I went to the Long Beach Aquarium today. As I measured the distance between people’s awe and the tropical fish, lit by a combination of white lights and fake plants, a friendly giant showed me the way around.
“You can touch the shark with your fingers.” His patience with my scaredy cat attitude reminded me of that teacher, John, who taught the welding workshop I put my ass in, just yesterday. They both read beyond the fact that my face looked like if someone was showing me an open wound, and expected me to saw it.
All the sawing that’s bound to happen, around here, is my putting the pieces of metaphor together.
Awkwardly having declined both the flamethrower (ok, maybe it has another name but that’s exactly how it looked), and the open jaws of the (footlong) shark, neither the friendly giant or the Italian art teacher insisted, which is when I did find myself somehow doing both things.
In the first instance, I did get distracted by the faces of my terrified peers, as I turned the green flame towards them. In the second, Minh was there beside me, amused by how much of a big deal I was making of it.
Touching the shark, as someone noticed, only minutes after I was coming down from the high of the very experience, is exactly like touching wet concrete.
And they were right.
My point being this: drama is a most effective tool, when in search of that particular kick one gets out of making life (look) bigger better faster stronger.