Monday, May 19, 2014

Power Lounging in the Garden of Eden, part two

Part one of this story is in the posting just below this one, just scroll down and then come back!
part two, copyright by LBDunn
Iris sits alone on a large oar boat with two strangers. She is on the gear stowed at the back of the raft. The two men were up front, one at the oars, the other at the beer cooler, both navigating the liquid worlds where they felt most real. Iris has absorbed the instructions the men gave her: 1. My job is to set up the kitchen and toilet every night and pack it up every morning. 2. If I wear a life jacket all the time I will be the object of ridicule of the other rafters. 3.  Shut up and look pretty. Only job one was communicated verbally.
She thought Jimmy wanted a romantic outdoor adventure with her. Now, on day three, she knew the only romance was to be a bit of foreplay at bedtime followed by Jimmy’s huffing and puffing and sleep. God, how she wished she were asleep right now.
Jimmy’s friend was the worst kind of river guide: all-knowing, macho, contemptuous of anyone who hadn’t run Lava Falls rapid in the Grand Canyon, and a functioning alcoholic. He showed Iris on night one how to set up the kitchen: the buckets of water, the roll-up table, Coleman stove, etc. He would pick the ideal locale for toilet time – grooving, he called it. She would carry the gear to that spot upon command. On night two she couldn’t find the little circle of bushes where he had told her to put the toilet so she set it up herself. Turns out it was only about 20 feet from the correct spot, but Jimmy chewed her out and his buddy gave her the silent treatment. Next morning she couldn’t manage to fit all the kitchen gear back into the container. They ignored her and “her” problem. They sat on the beach drinking beer until she managed to pack the gear and then they bitched about sitting around so long in the sun waiting for her.
God, Iris mulled everything over, this is hell. There’s no way out. I have to live through this somehow.
Two hours later and it’s not even noon. The sun is beating down; her scalp is on fire. The boys tell her to float alongside the raft and that’s nice. But they won’t help her get back in. “You’ve gotta learn,” Jimmy tells her. “What if we are upside down in the river and can’t help you?”
“I thought you said this river is an easy one, especially for you two.”
“Sure, it is, but good rafters are always prepared for a flip.”
Yeah, well get ready, Iris thought, because I’ve flipped on you.
There was no sex that night. Next morning Iris could not believe how much worse the experience could get. She no longer existed. She was just a piece of gear to load, unload, and tolerate and she hated Jimmy. She hated rafting. And she hated her life.
It was around one p.m. when she slipped into the water and let go. No life jacket. No plan. Not even a plan to die, really. She just wanted out. Neither man noticed she was gone.
Iris watched the raft float away. She felt nothing but relief in the cold water. Her mind had switched off. She just lay back and let herself be carried along like the sand in the water. After maybe thirty minutes she had one thought – this is inevitability. No control. No hope. No desire. Nothing but inevitability. 

to be continued...

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