Life comes at you fast, like a pro wrestler, like a bull. There’s no time to step aside, there’s no alcove to hide in. It’s just you and life… mano-a-mano.
It’s just you and life, a tsunami you can’t run away from. Don’t turn and run–it’s too late for that now–just stand and watch the wall of water approaching. Watch it crush everything away.
But we still stand, immortal in our own way. Immortal until the point we are mortal. Dodging and feinting and ducking and dodging, feet glued to the spot.
We fight ninjas. We fight mad dogs, bad dogs, not our dogs. We weather the tsunami and then there’s another. Then there’s another.
A tornado whips through and around. This one stings your eyes and cuts you to pieces; but you’re still alive. Debris from every other disaster surrounds you and it is a crackling, flooded wasteland of downed wires and metal shavings.
Snakes and shit circle around your feet. You are standing in ankle-deep, dirty water. This is life, this is your life and it’s coming at you fast, already and again. Another tsunami. Another.
A news helicopter hovers above you, there is a camera looking down. A million people are watching you standing in the flood water. The vision is LIVE. They see that it’s too late for you to run and yet they watch, eyes glued to the screen.
You can hear the helicopter. Whep-whep-whep-whep-whep. And on the horizon another wave is coming. You cannot tell if it is bigger or smaller than the last. You hope, at least, it will wash away the dirty water.
You make the motion of rolling up your sleeves, but really your clothes are nothing than rags. No matter what you’re wearing, beneath those flimsy fabrics you’re still naked as the day you were born. And like a baby waiting to be born, you’re waiting once again.
You’re waiting once again for the wave that will break you. The wave that will crush and destroy everything in its path. The wave that strands sea-creatures in takeaway restaurants and boutique clothing shops: the tsunami.
But your sleeves are rolled up. Or your almost-sleeves. And your feet are glued to the ground. And this time, you’re not even trying to move. You’re beginning to understand this illusion to which you are bound–but only just beginning.
Don’t move–just watch. Ball your hands into fists. Grit your teeth if you have to, because this is going to hurt. It’s just you and the tsunami now. Mano-a-mano.
This post was originally published as “06122021”.