Ms M and I went to the sea and the waves were crashing up over the dock, but still I went in, not even thinking about it. I don't know what combination of arrogance and stupidity and deathwish it was. But I was repeatedly submerged by big waves that held me under while they crashed over me to the beach.
I did get out, covered in cuts and scratches from being thrown on to the shingle, and without my glasses, which is the really stupid bit. I am short sighted to the extent that I only take my glasses off to sleep. It didn't occur to me to take them off to go into the water, even though even I would have been able to find the sea without help. Being without them, and being in shock from the minutes of ceding complete control to the sea, made me strangely helpless. Luckily, Ms M was driving, and I lapsed into a strange tripped out haze for the journey home, marveling at the disembodied car head lights as they came towards me in a huge pixelated mass, waiting for the swoop of them to form back into a blurred version of something that I recognised as they got close enough to pass.
Something about that experience made us decide when we got home that we should go out, as it was a club night at a pub where we drink. I found spare glasses and a dress, and we walked in to this world, where I knew Snake and the new Mrs Snake would be amongst the clientele.
It's not that I have a problem with Snake (well......) or the new Mrs Snake. More that my extreme self consciousness makes me want to avoid situations that might make other people feel awkward, or situations where people might think they know a version of me that I have had no part in creating. So while I have met friends for quiet drinks on week nights, this was the first time in a year that I had been out to any event or gathering in the woefully small town where I live.
Anyway, it was a fine night. I was greeted and absorbed into groups and conversations, with people I've known for years but haven't seen in this most difficult year, but who have been living their own hard lives and have come through their own tough things while I've been fighting through the waves of my life changes. One person who I haven't seen since school. People who I thought might not want to talk to me again, but who made efforts to say hello and create a space for me.
I publicly greeted and hugged Snake and the new Ms Snake, spoke to strangers about my tattoo, drank too much red wine. Meandered home, feeling I'd lived through a couple of things that I thought might kill me. Feeling that if, like a cat, I have a limited number of lives, then I was shorter on lives, but more alive than I had been for a while.