Thursday, March 02, 2006

I liked the shark


A few nights ago I was wading through my own unending mountain of E-mails, spread over 5 screen names on AOL, Yahoo, and MSN; for ‘background noise’ I had the telly on, with an old film that is a perennial favourite. We went to see “Jaws” when it was a new release, the whole famn damily. Not only Mum, and my two brothers, we also took Grandma DuBay (my great-grandmother) to see it as well.

Grandma DuBay had what Mum refers to as a ‘dime-store’ personality. If she was taken to one of the best restaurants in town, and be taken to see the film that sweeps the Oscars and she would complain mightily for the entire ordeal. However, if you took her to the Coney Island Hot Dog drive-through greasy spoon and thence to the Drve-In to see the triple-feature Horror Film Fest, she would talk about that for weeks!!

So, we knew that Grandma DuBay would enjoy “Jaws: immensely. We stood in line for nearly two hours, until the next showing, because the one we went there for was sold out. All of the other people in line kept glaring at us, thinking that we were monsters for bringing such a sweet little granny to “Jaws”.

Now, Granmda was only 4’11, and weighed maybe 90 pounds while wearing dripping wet clothes; she was wearing one of those 2-piece polyester pant sets that can be mail ordered (and if you order now we’ll give you our patented ‘Battery-Operated Sweater Shaver ABSOLUTELY FREE) from those little pamphlet-esque catalogues one looks at, rolls their eyes and promptly heave them into the nearest dustbin.

At, last!! We got out of the sun and into the cool dimness of the theatre, and charged to the snack bar. Mum bought everyone giant cold sodas and two family sized buckets of popcorn with extra butter.

The four of us shared the one bucket of popcorn and Grandma tucked into the other bucket. Of course, all five of us were glued to the screen; “Jaws” was, after all, a groundbreaking film in its day. People stopped glaring at us as the watched Grandma thoroughly enjoy herself, with the popcorn, root beer, and the shark.

Anyone who has seen “Jaws” probably remembers the theme for the next shark attack, that iconic, “Dah-dumm… dah-dumm… dah-dumm…”

Every time that music would start to play Grandmas eyes would light up and she would double the pace of her popcorn nibbling. It was as much fun watching Grandma as it was seeing the film for the first time.

Anywhoo… we decided later that Grandma was the only one there rooting for the shark.

That memory lies in a clean, well-lit corner of my mind, and no matter how many times we relive it; it still has the power to transport back to the innocence of early adolescence, between the ‘Cold War’ and “Terror Alert”.

By the by… the next day we went to Sherwood Forest Lake. Unbeknownst to us they had stocked the lake with game fish earlier that year. I sat on the dock, which sort of crouched over the water, with a span of probably 6 feet between it and the shoreline. As I waggled my feet in the water, the game fish came to see what was happening.

One intrepid fish proved braver than the rest and attempted to nibble my great to… I screamed, shot straight into the air and hit the dock running, I think I broke all previous running broad jump records getting to the shore. I didn’t stop running until I was across the road and clinging to the Rental Horses’ corral across the street from the lake.

Once we discovered that it was game fish that were used to being fed by hand, my brothers and I fed them nearly a whole bag of potato crisp crumbles. We were lying on our bellies on the dock, with our heads leaning over the side as we tossed the bits of potato crisps on the surface and watched the fish suck them from the top with a crisp sucking sound.

We are our Mother’s children, that was when we had 2 dogs, 12 cats, two tanks of tropical fish, a baby pheasant with a broken wing and a snake named Harry because he hadn’t any….


©Gwen M. Myers

This life will leave you weary
Spattered in filth and alone.
Trying hard to hold on to
Something to call your own.

Wondering what is your failure
Something you’d left unfinished.
Questioning every little action
Given up on what you wished.

And into this internal darkness
Shines a soft and steady light.
That by its simple presence
Begins to set things arght.

A voice you may never hear
Yet you understand every word.
A low, sweet song of reason
That still awakens you hard.

You relearn long-forgotten trust
And open your shuttered heart.
Discovering that trust isn’t misplaced
Believing you can make a new start.

You begin to search for the source
From whence comes your voice.
What source the gentle wisdom
That helps you change your choice.

Stopping by a mirror you glimpse
The source and receiver of this gift.
‘Twas your own soul speaking
Now you will never be adrift.

Then the voice commands you
To seek those whose spirits speak.
And you find you are drawn to them
And with lovely words they speak.

Within the embrace of spirits
Lies our immortal bliss.
That sweet benediction
Never again will you miss.

What name do we call this
The sweet communion?
What label can we give it,
When through it we begin again?

It is called simply, a friend.