I woke up last night, sometime in the middle of the night, in a room on the Yucatan Peninsula with my family sleeping around me. I lay awake and listened to the sound of the surf. I watched the full moon cast its Caribbean blue light on the giant nodding leaves out the window, and on the soothing curve of the round windowsill. I watched the chaise lounges in repose out the sliding glass doors---lovely in their aqua-colored cushions, so polished and indifferent to human pain, as delightful as two girls sunbathing into infinity. The moonlight picked up the edges of these things. The sea was silver under the moonlight. I counted the days until we return to New York, and shifted the number into days to cherish. I felt despair grow up beside me.
I had a friend who surfed down the coast of South America about 20 years ago, when he was 18 years old. He was losing weight and traveling a lot, and also drank a lot of beer and didn't think about things, when---I won't tell you how---he discovered he had a parasite. He ran to the clinic and everyone made a fuss, and over the course of hours a doctor extracted it slowly and with precision. When it was over, my friend took a photo of the worm stretched out along his surfboard. The two are the same length.
I love this gross story! Imagine it----extracting sorrow, despair, whatever devouring parasitic creature of emotion. Having it extracted and photographed alongside your surfboard----ew! How horrifying and satisfying it would be.
It's probably just the full moon, I dreamed last night, as the despair rose and coiled and pooled in my throat. It will pass; the night will end. You either live through it or you don't. I lay on my back like those silly chaise lounges and waited for morning.