Saturday, December 30, 2017

The Curse, Part 8: Gary

Previous installment
First installment
All installments in reverse chronological order

I am very, very slow sometimes. I can't imagine what took me so long to see this. It's dawned on me only just now.

Back in Installment 3, I told the chilling tale of the demonic fisherman, describing the title character like this:
...a rather large fisherman had appeared. I wasn't sure where he'd come from; there had been no signs of life only 5 minutes earlier. And the guy seemed awfully wound up.

As I paddled closer, I noticed that he appeared to be deranged. He was violently, twitchily flinging his line into the pond, yanking it back, and re-flinging. Over and over. Fast. There was a small problem with my kayak, so I needed to land, but there was nowhere to do so but right beneath where he was. And I got the strong sense that he was not going to accommodate me.

As I drew closer, I saw sunlight glisten off the large, shiny metal hook at the end of his line, which repeatedly flew toward me and then retracted. The guy was paying absolutely no attention to my approach. It was almost as if he were in another movie. If the hook hit my kayak, it would immediately sink. If it hit my face, it would tear my flesh. But he persisted, as if I were invisible. And, again, he seemed awfully wound up. If he had a soundtrack, it would have been extreme hardcore.

I was mentally rehearsing a statement (e.g. "Hey, buddy, can you give me just a sec to get out of this boat?"). But when I drew close enough to clearly see his face, something told me: No. Don't talk to him. Don't deal with him. Get away from him. Now.

The same street smarts also kept me from panicking. I mentally let him exist in his separate kookie movie, took a deep, fatalistic breath, pulled in, got off, grabbed the kayak, threw it in my car, and calmly drove away, ignoring him completely. No turbulence was made in the emotional time/space continuum. But I was very aware that I'd experienced a waking nightmare, which had unfolded with pure dream logic.
C'mon, really? You don't see it? Ok, let me spell it out:

I wonder whether that guy is currently writing a series of essays about a "Curse" of his own.

Maybe he was out that day trying to relax after intensely stressful events, fishing for the first time with his new rod, much as I was testing out my new kayak. Maybe he was clumsily trying to get his equipment under control when a stranger startled him, paddling at him from out of nowhere. And this stranger ignored him, wouldn't look at him or say a word to him, and hustled off in a huge rush, as if he'd seen a demon or something.

Maybe his name's Gary, and he writes elegant poetry, and would do anything to help someone in need. And maybe upsetting little scenes like this happen to him all the time. Maybe lots of people have intuitive hunches not to talk to him, not to deal with him, and to get away from him immediately. 

Maybe Gary watches Casper, too.

Continue to part 9

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