This year I started to gain weight for the first time in my life. I thought – this is a gift from God. I’ve always been a bit skinny. I don’t get blown over by the wind but I have floated from state to state, expanding my universe yet never quite able to hold things together. I’ve blamed my explosive temperament, also my refusal to take weighty matters seriously. I’ve never married, never had a “best” friend. I had a psychic do my chart once and she found a black hole in the relationship area. Yet, I’ve spent a half century colliding with others, mostly with good humor, sometimes not. What I needed was someone to anchor me, not the bad boys of my past – bicyclists, chess players, dog owners. I needed someone who could rein me in.
I did what any person going on a quest would do, at least those who grew up before the internet. I went to the library, specifically to the fiction stacks as reading about imaginary people under stress is less anxiety provoking. I learned that spies are statistically well represented as love interests as are sailors, criminals and mad scientists. With my research done I booked a cabin in a merchant vessel bringing generic antidepressants to Switzerland. The director of the cruise was Werner Herzog. There was a discount offered for some heavy carrying at the end. On my first morning I awoke to a sound I will never forget.
It was a non-diaphragm whistle. A distinctly sea-worthy sound, it called to me like a siren. Normally I struggle to get out of bed but I popped out of my bunk, falling over my drunken bunk mates (it turns out a “single” cabin was for singles to mingle.) I ran out the door and up the ladder like stairs in my short, cotton nightie,( I’m quite tall with highly sensitive skin.) I arrived on deck disoriented and could not immediately find the source of this sensual song. The ocean was exceedingly bright with waves dancing in the sun. The decks and rails blinded me in their reflection of the brilliant sky and sea. Then I saw the crew of The Higgs assembled in front of him, their mops and pails at the ready. I have always been messy so this made a great impression on me. He had those two little anchors on his shoulder and the authority to hold the ship together. He was the Higg’s Bos’n and I was in love.
I know that love at first sight is risky but I’ve always been a risk taker. I even own a red Subaru. My mind was clear enough to know I should back off for the time being since there was blood spewing from my head due to my enthusiastic awakening. I retraced my steps and began to plan the best way to bump into him. I arranged to be seated at The Bos’n’s table for dinner. This was not difficult as there was only one big long table. It was about 19 miles long in fact. I wore my best dress, the one which had never led to a second date because men had become so sure they could get what they wanted when I wore it that they never had a reason to come back. I offered each of my grog infused bunkmates a number of pilfered sertralines from the ship’s cargo so as to assure a reasonable intimate encounter at the dinner table. Then I spent the day dreaming of explosions and super collisions.
That evening the singing of Caruso wafted from the Ipod in the dining room and the smell of Miracle Whip saturated Jello Surprise made me swoon. A dense fog had moved in which suited my mood. When I awoke I was nearly in the dining room, having been mysteriously physically attracted just as the crew had been to this glorious, powerful man. I began to worry about diseases but decided to save that thought for after dinner when he caught my eye. A thrill went through every particle of my body. He rose from his seat and began walking the nine and a half miles from the table to where I stood with an outstretched hand. Instead of running towards him, I felt like I was imploding. I was rooted to the spot, heavy as a tree. My subatomic world would never be the same. Then I heard something big coming, a loud blast from the port side. My soon to be love became airborne as The Hadron supercollided with our vessel. As I saw my dream man being smashed before me I reached out and grabbed at his dress coat in the chaos. He flew out a porthole followed by much jello and the starboard watch. All I was left with was a speck of lint and the port, so I drank.
I tell you this tale because sometimes all that remains is God’s particle to hold us together. I thought maybe the speck of lint would grow or that I would go back to being a free spirit but no. I got drunk and threw up. I grew up and had to haul a broken ship over the Alps for non-union pay. This is a cautionary story. Don’t let yourself go crazy after hypotheses and theories. Why listen to scientists? They spend most of their lives being wrong. Men who whistle at other men might not make the best mates. Sometimes supercolliders exist to wake us from the fog of our dreams to the reality that the big bang can’t ever really be understood. One might as well follow politics. In the meantime say a prayer for me as I sit with my particle waiting for it to be transubstantiated back into a Bos’n. We have to believe in miracles, even when we’re whipped.