Diary of Lisa Taylor, reluctantly 42 (and a half)

Or.. 'f.ck me I'm forty.. two.. and a half', though can look 38 on a - not so deluded - good day. Or 'How to reconcile a well experienced mind trapped in a still - but for how long? – youthful body.' Don't have the 30somethings angst/problems, neither have the resigned (?) ageing baby-boomers in safe family territory outlook yet. Here's how I cope, one day all sexy women will get old... but never invisible. © Lisa Taylor 2005/6/7/8/9. Jeez.. so much for the 42 and-a-half delusion

Friday, January 16, 2009

15 January 09 - Over the Reef

A cautionary tale to pass on since one of my dearest friends who was on holiday with me for a few days nearly died in the week he was alone out there.
It all started with his desire to get away from the touristy beaches and the din of djs'. So he took his car to about 300km south of Playa del Carmen, and drove off to a deserted beach, parked and went for a swim.
He found a gap in the barrier reef and sort of signposted it to himself and swam on the other side (he is a very good swimmer, easily does 1km at the pool often enough). But upon looking for the gap on re-entry some giant swells had thrown up sand and sleet and he could no longer locate it. So he decided to swim alongside the barrier till he found another gap. Eventually he came to the end of the barrier and thought 'bingo'. But realised with horror that he was on the estuary of a river and became as powerful as a cork in trying to stay on top of the bottle of champagne. In a matter of minutes he was projected way out into the sea. By this point he'd been out swimming for a good couple of hours and had no strength to swim against the tide.

He says he kept hearing this song he'd heard when a water truck was delivering bottled water in San Cristobal, 'Raindrops are falling on my head', and he sort of felt he was going to be alright and calm, but I think it was sunstroke. He was sunburnt by now and floating on his back and the next thing he remembers is this old mayan featured mexican fisherman staring at him on the deck of his boat and saying things like 'gran pescado del dia'. So the fisherman took him back to shore where he thanked some gods in a little homemade altar.
His next, smaller, drama was trying to locate his car parked god knows where from the point where he was rescued. He walked a couple of miles fearful of the fact it was getting dark by now but having signposted the dirt track where he'd left it, he did find it. Next, he realised he had no strength in his arms to drive but managed to return 'home' in 3rd geer and steering with his knees.

And then he started having nightmares. He's back now and safe but I remember years ago in Sri Lanka a friend of mine who couldn't get back into the bay and by the time he staggered into the hotel beach we had been unaware that he'd seen his own death come calling. He's equally a strong swimmer so we paid no attnention to how long he was out there. And in fact never saw his signals of distress. He vomited for the day and was in bed shivering and scared shitless for another 2 days. After that he just stayed very very quiet.

So, all this to say, if it happens to strong swimmers, light swimmers take care of warnings of currents and so on. And poor swimmers like me do well to stick to 'where they can feel the ground under their feet'. Mega boring but why die?

I wonder what I. will do now that he's in post-trauma and wondering why it was not his time yet.


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