There is a rehearsal dinner in a fancy, but dimly lit, restaurant for a couple that neither my wife Cat nor I, know. We and everyone else at the dinner wear face masks. There is a lot of silence in the dining hall, as no one feels comfortable talking to anyone else. It is a stifling silence, thick with anticipation. Everything is lit by candlelight, adding additional notes of eerie to the whole affair.
I have a little ball of handmade string, wound up stray hairs and dryer lint that I have collected for the past several months. Or, at least, I had it. It has gone missing. I am looking everywhere for it, and leave the dinner party in a state of distress. I find myself wandering outside, on the seashore, at night, by some docks, looking for it.
It is hard to see.
The water is inky black and there is no moon in the sky. The only light comes from some lamps on the top of the docks, which does not light the underside of the docks that well. Also distracting is with every person who walks by, they stop and ask me what I am looking for. I feel compelled to answer all these people, in detail, what I am looking for. Which is followed by eye rolling and gestures of dismissal from my audience.
This goes on for some time.
Then I find my ball of handmade string.
The string has been unrolled and attached to a series of porcelain weights that are in the water, beneath the dock. The weights resemble rectangular toilet tank toppers. I can lift them up to some degree but worry that if I break the surface of the water with these weights the handmade string linking them together will break and then I will be without my beloved string. It puts me in a state of frustrated terror, and I feel frozen.
In a nearby coastal house, Cat is having trouble with the toilet. It keeps threatening to overflow. She works the plunger frenetically, and then flushes, followed by more plunger aerobics. I move into the bathroom to help her out and am struck by how the water in the toilet bowl is so very green. The color of the perfect lawn.
The water rises again.
Cat and I are losing the battle.
I wake up sore and sick with flu-like symptoms. It turns out I have Influenza type B.
Image Credit: “Wet” by Patrick Kennedy: https://www.instagram.com/p/BDVzlpizL3L/