Subterranean lovesick alien.Posted: January 31, 2012
I made a valiant effort at getting SCUBA certified while I was on Caye Caulker. But when I was a teenager, I was diagnosed with vasodepressor syncope, which means I faint more easily than most—my blood pressure plummets and I feel horribly nauseated—and unfortunately, my old nemesis returned. My body was deeply freaked out by the tightness of the wetsuit and the dryness of the compressed air. So, even though I managed to breathe steadily and complete all the exercises, when I resurfaced I also threw up five times. (My instructor was aware of only one of these times. The other four times, I cleverly disguised with splashing motions.)
So I pulled out. Which is fine with me. Because now I know how it feels to have a regulator in my mouth, to fall backwards off the side of a boat, and to swim through water the color of lime jelly. Which means…I can write about it!
I mean, that’s one huge reason I travel. So I have more tools to tell stories. But in addition, I’m amazed at the power of travel to clear mental spaces and spiritual spaces and disrupt patterns and destroy walls I thought were indestructible. Who knew that I’d love caves with a near-religious fervor, or that I might not be remotely the marrying type? So now I’m having fantasies about learning Spanish, renting an apartment in San Ignacio, going caving every weekend…and writing a new novel, set in the cave in the years 1012, 2012 and 3012. A Mayan burial, a modern-day tourist group, and a future archaeology group, all working “alongside” each other. And the rhythm will be more lyrical than naturalistic, more like Mariette in Ecstasy than Mating.
This is crazy talk. But there’s a fine line between crazy talk and vocation…