Marika called and said she wanted to take us skydiving as a wedding present. "How perfectly delightful," I said, but I was immediately and secretly panic-stricken. Delighted was the opposite of what I felt. Skydiving is something I always acted like I was fearlessly fully committed to one day doing, I never let on that just thinking about skydiving was terrible and alarming.

Dylan went skydiving years ago at the crack of dawn in Australia after raging an all night party and he adored it. He couldn't get enough. "It's life-changing," Dylan said. I responded, "I'm certain it is." "It's like a religious experience," Dylan said. I conjectured, "I don't doubt it." "There's nothing like it," Dylan said. "I'm sure there isn't," I commented.

But I always put off the skydiving every time Dylan suggested we do it. "You're gonna love it," said Dylan. "I know I will," I asserted. "You've got to face your fears," Dylan said. "I'll face them," I alleged. But I always meant to face my fears later. Some vague, faraway, and hopefully never actually happens sort of later. "I just want to be ready," I imparted. "Sometimes you're never ready," Dylan said. "Some things it's do or die." "Or do <em>and</em> die," I muttered. "It's the safest activity in the world," Dylan proclaimed. "Well let's not go overboard," I said.

Marika called again later and said, "Skydiving!" "About fucking time!" I shouted, though I had been scheming for days to get out of it. Marika vivaciously made all arrangements. She got a whole big group together and began discussions and plans. I hoped problems would arise, that we wouldn't be able to settle on a date that would work for everyone, that there'd be no nearby places that could accommodate us all, I was hopeful that at least one of any number of problems would permanently mess the plan and make it so skydiving would never have to happen.

But there were no problems. A date mere days away was chosen that suited everybody fine, and there was a nearby location that could accommodate our group pretty much any time. I thought to myself, "Jesus H. Christ," followed by, "Shit, shit, shit." Outwardly I acted tough and fired up. Every night as the big day approached, Dylan went to bed grinning with jolly thoughts of skydiving while those very same thoughts had me shitting metaphorical bricks. Or metaphorically shitting bricks. You get me, so I won't belabour the metaphor or the bricks.

Continue reading →