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Tuesday, October 20, 2009 - Editor: Jerry Katz
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This is from quite an
A Tail of Two Drops
By Sam Palahnuk
On a seemingly endless expanse of deep blue ocean, the sun shone from a crystal blue sky, dotted with fluffy white clouds. No land broke the surface of rolling, blue waves, except for a large outcropping of black rock. Occasionally, the sharp cry of a seagull and the soft flap of its wings complimented the ambient murmur of the sea.
Suddenly, beneath the waves, a gray dolphin sped past, silently and swiftly. It playfully broke the surface if the water with its tail, causing two drops of water to break away from the ocean and begin to fly skyward.
The first drop looked around and began to smile. The second drop didnt look so happy.
Isnt this great?! said the first drop.
Are you kidding? Weve been torn away from our homewhere we were safe and secure! I hate that dolphin! This is a disaster! said the second drop.
I guess you could look at it that way, but to me right now, being away from the ocean feels so new and exciting! the first drop said, the smile on her face growing even larger. And besides, Im flying! Ive never flown before, its fantastic!
Need I remind you that youre a drop of water! Drops of water shouldnt fly! Flying is for birds. Im terrified and I cant wait until we stop flying!
Why rush it? This is fun!
Fun for you. Nerve-wracking for me, the second drop said as he tried to change shape to slow his speed.
Just then a seagull flew below the drops, just missing them.
Wow! Ive never been above a seagull, said the first drop, exhilarated.
The second drop started screaming, Ahhhh! What if that bird had hit me? I would have died for sure!
You cant die, silly. Youre made of water! Youd evaporate, float into a cloud, and rain back down. Then a river would bring you right back to the oceaneffortlessly and automatically. Youre completely safe, silly, the first drop said, trying to comfort the second drop.
Im not even sure I want to be back in the ocean at this point. I dont want to splatit scares me. And besides, Im rather liking the idea of being my own dropseparate from the ocean. Besides, who can trust the ocean anywayit let me break away like this, so it obviously doesnt care about me. Just look at what it has put me through! Why should I care about it! Im not sure I even believe in the ocean any more.
I still believe in the ocean. And I like being a drop. Its all good, said the first drop, almost quietly as she reeled from the second drops negative attitude.
The two drops reached the height of their arc, and began to fall toward the ocean.
Woo hoo! Now were falling! said the first drop, excitedly.
The second drop began to move around left and right, then in spirals as it tried to slow its fall. Check this out! I can steer. Im good at this! Im an athlete!
The first drop slowed down also, and she watched the second drop with amusement, Thats the spirit! Have fun!
Im great at this! Look at me! the second drop said, arrogance in his voice, I cant help but notice you cant steer. I guess Im just better at this than you.
The first drop didnt like being put down, but she kept quiet, then again smiled as she remembered the beauty around her.
You go ahead, go back to your imaginary ocean, if such a thing even really exists. Im going to be a famous athletebetter and more famous than anyone else. Then Ill be powerful. Then Ill be happy! The second drop started steering around even more aggressively with a look of determination on his face. He wasnt enjoying steering anymore; he was now focused on improving his steering skills.
Im happy now, not later. You could be too -- just look at the beauty all around you in this moment, said the first drop. Dont you remember just a minute ago you were complaining about being taken away from the ocean? Dont you long to be safe as part of the most powerful thing on this planet?
I told you, I dont believe in your mystical ocean. Im going to make the most out of my life! You see that rock over there? The second drop motioned to the rock outcropping in the ocean below. Im steering over there, so I can make my own choices, be independent, and work on my career.
Okay then. Good luck on your adventure, said the first drop, Ive had a great time. Thank you for your company and thank you for being such a good teacher. Im going to return to the ocean now.
The first drop then closed her eyes and sped toward the ocean, and with a tiny elegant ripple she became part of it again. It felt great to be a dropshe had learned so much. And now if felt great to be home.
The second drop landed on the rock. While there he spent a very long time experiencing a lot of drama, excitement, pain, and difficult learning. Just as the first drop had predicted, eventually the second drop evaporated and after a long journey, eventually ended back up in the ocean, where he remembered.
Some time later, the two drops, now both part of the ocean, met again. They reminisced about their adventures and their previous time together as drops. They both laughed heartily as felt warm and loving thoughts. They rejoiced in the bliss, peace, safety and unimaginable power they both had being part of the mighty ocean.
As they laughed, beneath the waves, a gray dolphin sped past, silently and swiftly.
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