An arm wrestle of tectonic proportions. The African plate grapples cheek-to-cheek with the Australian, with immense pressure building at their conjuncture. After years of contest, the African plate concedes defeat with a sigh, sliding under the Australian, displacing millions of litres of water. Like Godzilla before he has fully surfaced, the water above the buckle swells.
The first to experience whiplash is the fisherman, who thinks he has hooked something worthy of a story. His boat is carried swiftly about, while ethereal frequencies bubble up from the ocean floor. He is close to the tsunami’s point of origin; the wave hasn’t yet crested so he remains safe. Like your rubber duck, who gets caught in the turbulence you create while getting out of the tub.
The second whiplash scenario is the lifeguard; he isn’t even hit by the wave, the fool. He sees the wave from afar with his cherry red binoculars and jumps off his ten foot tower to warn the beach rescue centre. He trips on his buoy and breaks his neck. That’s all you need to break your neck. Ten feet.
The third is a little harder to determine; the wave doesn’t hit the shore of Sendai perpendicularly, so it is probably one of the couples out on sailboats, or a group on a whale watching expedition. Regardless, many people along the coast experience the aggressive reach of the Pacific. Magpie, at eighty years old, is expecting to die soon anyway, so she isn’t too worried about being pinned between the wall of her three star resort and a torrent of unrelenting ocean water. Thomas is only eleven though, so he wishes he can live long enough to figure out what is starting to go on in his pants. He dies in a brown undertow.
Most of the people who hear the radio announcements don’t think it will affect them; after all they have never felt tragedy strike before. As if to mock their naiveté, the tsunami brings all the tourist paraphernalia from the beach as a trophy of the ocean’s dominance of the coastal zones. The tsunami charges inland wielding umbrellas and lounge chairs, pointed at anyone who is foolish enough to challenge the power of God.
You and I, we may have heard about all of this on the radio, while on the way to work. Maybe your parents mentioned it while you ate dry pork tenderloin, waiting to escape and see your friends. Most likely, you read about it on some form of social media forum. The information ocean that is the internet is deeper than any one you can stick your feet into. Have you ever followed the links on the side of a webpage until you find yourself somewhere quite strange? Turned right at every digital intersection until you sank into binary oblivion?
A poll was taken by the associates at ipawz.com and they concluded that a cat-dog-horse-rabbit hybrid is the ultimate domestic pet. There is nothing ultimate about this monster, just because ipawz.com associates can agree on the perfect species of animal, that doesn’t mean that inventing a Frankenstein creature is the solution. Spliced animals are demonic by nature. You would be lying in your bed when your cat-dog-horse-rabbit would slide in, softly neigh-bark-meowing; plotting to end you with its hoof-paws.
You are feeling a little mischievous. Perhaps you want to chase your cat around with night vision goggles. You find yourself on thespyplace.com. You soon realize that the spy gear is just a front, while the purpose of the site is to sell “Telephone Spy Recorders”. This website sells phone taps for suspicious and jealous spouses.
The professional face of Google seems to be only three pages deep. Go deeper, and find hokey websites made by parents who are excited about their new cupcake business, a little extra income aside from what they earn from the real estate office. They can still afford that unwinding cottage vacation.
“Don’t kill the clams, son.” Dad says behind sunglasses, burning and peeling in his Muskoka chair.
“It’s cruel son.” Mom says, with freckles dense from the double tan she gets from the sun’s reflection off the lake. The little boy has never heard the word cruel though. He stands in the muddy water, with the clam’s innards spilling down his hand. The clam is obviously and irreversibly dead. He decides that they must have meant cool. He returns to deeper, purpler waters where he can resume his assassination of mollusks for the continued approval of his mother.
How often do we misinterpret? Consider this: You catch your misinterpretations perhaps twice a day. Think of all the misinterpretations that you may have never resolved. You have innumerable pieces of false information floating in your web of memories. Consider this: How often do you slightly misinterpret someone’s intentions during conversation? It is impossible to become fully immersed in a presenter’s concepts, just through auditory and visual cues? There is too much room for error within our imperfect communication mediums and the audience’s inability to fully absorb all subtle gestures the presenter relays. We can only hope for some form of pure communication in the future via technology; a device that connects the consciousness of two beings without separation. Only then can truth be shared.
Sometimes the truth has a delayed fuse. This is a feeling we are all familiar with. It’s the feeling you get when you find out that a piece of information that you always thought was true, was in fact false.
“What do you mean vodka isn’t flammable? How do they do those flaming shots?”
“Man, no forty percent liquors that are flammable; only 49.5 percent or up, and that’s rounding up.” he says condescendingly.
But you watched David Blaine take a sip of a random man’s whiskey and spit it onto a flame and make a fireball. That was real… Wasn’t it?
A thread of memories where you incorrectly assumed that piece of information in the past, suddenly pulls tight. That time when you told your friend to be mindful of her tequila shot’s proximity to the candle and she looked at you funny, thinking that you were a little too drunk; the time when you threw what was left of your gin into the campfire, with unimpressive results; the time when you told him not to ash his cigarette into that cup, it had whiskey in it. They align and the mystery that unconsciously surrounded those situations lifted. It's similar to the moment when you figure out someone is planning a surprise party for you. All those slightly awkward encounters that have been happening in the past week suddenly click into a logical and satisfying hole in your mind. Of course Edward was being weird when you saw him at the bar; he must be coming over this weekend for your birthday!
Are you going to wear something new? Wouldn’t it be obvious that you knew about the party if you wore your favourite sweater? Play it safe, just wear something standard, solid. It is very important not to trigger any red flags. Maybe practice being surprised in the mirror, the satisfaction of the planners is resting upon your acting skills now. Your reaction has to be authentic enough to make sure nobody regrets coming, despite your fleeting relationship with them.
“xoxo happy b-day wishing you all the best xoxo wish I cud come to your party my buetiful boy xoxo”
That’s a bit of a wrench in the situation. It’s going to be fine, calm down. If you have learned anything this far in this existence it’s that there is an excuse for everything. Just because your grandma has spoiled the surprise via a poorly written email, it doesn’t mean that the planners know you know. If they ever find out later that she sent that email to you, and you still faked the surprise, they may never plan one for you in the future- you phoney. It would have been nice if she used proper sentence structure in her email though. For someone who is constantly complaining about the laziness that technology imprints into our youth, her digital English is downright sloppy. It does seem like she may have no idea how to spell beautiful though, regardless of the medium she writes it with.
That is your responsibility though. Make sure to keep your elders up to date with the latest technologies. If you don’t expose your grandparents to the wonders and aids of modern technology, you are torturing them via neglect. Don’t you want your grand-kids to grab your hand in fifty years and take you on a virtual journey deep into their ocean of technology? Don’t you want to be led to a digital place where your knees restore to the strength of their youth, a place where you can fight digital demons with your grandchildren, your digital shield protecting their vulnerable digital bodies? Maybe impossible vistas are directly fed into your nervous system, real tastes, sounds, emotions, all truly experienced through controlled electronic pulses?