Thursday, November 18, 2010

Swimming with Jaws

My father never considered the rating of an R movie an obstacle for me to watch it. I was around eight and I was sitting in a theater watching Jason cut some heads and impale a couple of teenagers in bed. Blood and violence never scared me. So when my father took me to watch Jaws we never thought it will impact me but it did. I’m still scared of the heart beat when the shark is about to attack. I remember being awake in bed, listening to the water pipes, thinking Jaws was going to come inside the pipes and eat me. But I had a defense plan, when Jaws will break the pipes I would yell to the top of my lungs. Then my mother and father will come to save me. I would push my mom to Jaws’s mouth to distract him and then I would run and go to a safe place with my dad. I’m conscious my therapist would enjoy to make something out about my relationship with my mother. After Jaws, I was never able to look at the beach without thinking about that shark waiting to eat people. I never felt comfortable enough to learn to swim. And that in the place a grew up is a sacrilege. I grew up in Isabela, Puerto Rico, a place where the beach was less than 15 minutes away. Jobos, a beach known because of surfing tournaments, was one of my father favorites. My brothers learn to swim unless me. My father never taught me to swim, maybe because I will get kind of hysterical each time I saw a wave and couldn’t stand water in my face. So I never learned. I enjoy kayaking and this past summer bought one and people get shocked when I tell them I don’t know how to swim. I guess that is one of the things you cannot teach yourself to do.

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