Thursday, January 3, 2013
A Good Start
Shit. I don’t want to do this. Five years is enough, isn’t it? When can we stop this craziness? When do we freakin’ grow up? Shit. I don’t want to do this.
Out of bed and dreading another New Years noon dunking in the neighborhood pond. Forty-four degree air temperature. Water temp's not much higher. Leaden skies. Spitting rain. Only the diehards will keep the string going this year. Only the fools.
Everyone’s waiting for someone else to flinch. To say that this is a bad idea and bag it. Everyone’s hoping, but not wanting to be the one. The one to crack. The one to balk. The one to be mature. Someone. Please. Save us from ourselves.
But tradition is tradition. Such a stupid statement. Who the hell’s idea was this anyway? Oh, yeah. I remember. It came up six years ago. In coincidently close proximity to the keg at Rich’s. Seemed like a good idea at the time.
No. Not going to take the fire pit down there this year. Don’t plan to stay that long. Get there at 11:55. Keep the truck running. Jump in. Leave. Hot shower. Hot chocolate. Hot toddy. Hot anything.
Better crowd than I expected. Down a little for the crap weather, but a good group. At least we’re not clearing ice from the edges this year. But then, maybe that would push someone to stop this madness.
Everyone seems happy, though with a nervous edge. No one’s overtly hung over, but I know better. There’s at least one of us here that’s hurtin’.
Shit. I don’t want to do this.
Countdown takes us by surprise. Thirty seconds! Strip the warmups off quickly.
Twenty! Quick count of noses to be sure that the same number that goes in comes out. Thirteen. Great.
Fifteen! The clock keeper’s enjoying this too much. But then, he’s bundled up, not going in. Wuss.
Ten Seconds! Kick the crocs and start looking for a lane down the small sand beach.
Five! Smile at Mary. Here we go again, dear. Together. I am so incredibly proud of you.
Four! I don’t want to do this.
Five running steps and a headlong dive. Crushing cold. Icy lock on chest, southern regions. Bodily functions start shutting down. Time stands still. Swim, dammit. No, the other way. Back to shore! Legs don’t want to work. Feet strain to find bottom as I get close to the edge. Torture.
And it’s over.
And it feels great. There's no rush to wrap up. It feels positively balmy out here. Even the rain’s okay.
What do you say we hang around for a while, dear?
2013’s off to a good start.
Note: Thanks to my good friends and neighbors Martha and Paul for the photos. How they got such steady shots of this insanity while laughing so hard is beyond me.