I watched Jaws when I was three years old.
My cousin told me it was her favorite movie.
She wanted to get me back for ruining her life.
So we sat down and watched it.
Jaws ruined my bath time
Now I'm a shower girl.
Jaws ruined the deep end of the swimming pool.
Are you kidding?
Who would choose to cannonball to one's death?
And you can forget about the lake, the river, the pond.
Sharks were in every body of water, waiting to chomp.
It took me twenty years to overcome my fear of swimming in the ocean after those 124 minutes.
And even then, at twenty three years old.
I was sort of forced to get over the sentiment I'd carried for so long.
That Jaws had made it his mission in life to make a meal of me.
Because I was living on an island.
The butter colored sand and cerulean waters sort of island.
And by damn!
I knew that, if I wasn't going to get in the water then --
In waters I could see miles and miles through --
Then I was never going to get in.
I went out a boat with some friends.
We anchored beside the reef that surrounded the island.
I grabbed my snorkel gear.
Dotted my nose with some SPF.
And dove in.
After I'd coughed the water from out my throat.
(Who dives in with snorkel goggles on?)
I took a deep breath.
Took a look down past my toes.
At the deep deep water.
And congratulated myself.
That's when I felt something.
Against my toes.
Then up my shins.
And across my thighs.
Out of the corners of my panic-stretched eyes.
I caught a glimpse of steel grey.
And thought, "Wow. I actually AM going to be eaten by Jaws."
Before I could tell myself to stop thinking to myself in such a rational manner.
And go ahead and scream already.
I felt the massive body move up my stomach.
Hitting my chin.
Across my face.
Up and over my head.
And down my back.
When I realized I still had feeling throughout my body.
Instead of gnashing teeth.
I was up and out of that ocean.
Walk on the water sort of up and out of the ocean.
Scrambling up the boat's ladder.
And finally, to safety, on board.
Where I cast a panic stricken dart of eyes across the waters.
A Manta Ray.
Go ahead and mock me.
I'll be over here.
Perfectly happy, ankle deep in the ocean.