We all cheat. 7/26/2008


Dad cheated on mom, who cheated on dad.

“Nothing seemed to be working out. Everything we tried was just false–just false! You know it and I know it–who cares? It’s over.”

The lake shimmered silver in the late morning sun; the water was warm and thick and lapped at the shore and I just wanted to go out and sink into the depths so I did. I went out to where the water was up to my neck and I stood there, my arms waving around under the surface and rubbing my nose to get the water out and my hair was wet feeling warm and now the water sparkled even more so that all I could do was to look back at the shore.

Mom was at the shore sitting under the tree reading a book and the shade spread out around her in a lopsided oval. That shade was very dark and there were squirrels milling about and mom fed them a red candy and they dove right for it.

Dad was somewhere too: back at the campsite doing whatever he was doing, I think he was sick of us like he always gets sick of us. He feels that life needs to be “taken care of” in the sense that life is a problem that needs to be fixed, or packed up, or put away, neatly on a shelf just like your copy of The Idiot by Dostoevsky. Which I’ve never read and never will. But that’s dad: he was taking down the tent I’m sure or doing whatever he was doing–I’m quite indifferent to the whole affair and actually if he weren’t with us we would be just fine–everything would be “taken care of” but it wouldn’t be a big issue. It would just get done.

Carrie my sister was on the beach reading a little bit with her sunglasses on and every now and then I would yell from the water: “Come in!” or “Let’s play Frisbee!” but to no avail: I guess she takes after my mom all she wants to do is read read read. Or maybe she’s sick of me too: this camping trip has become extremely long and tiresome and I’m sick of it. I feel too old for this, why is that I think as I swim around, I can feel it. I’m swimming self-consciously; I do the American crawl and the waves from a motorboat throw me up higher and then bring me down lower; I float on my back and kick a little bit with my feet making foam bubbles and waves and I feel old, like I shouldn’t be doing this. I should probably be reading so after a while I quit making foam bubbles and waves and go up to my sister and sit in the scorching sand. I run to get a towel from my mom and the squirrels are still there eating some red dots candy and “how is your book?” I say, and she likes her book she only reads mysteries anymore.

Back by my sister the lake is shimmering silver and green. For a moment I look at the colors and imagine not the water but only the colors on top and I freak out and have to clutch the towel. I suck in a little air in one little “Shoooop” and then look away and pretend to feel better and then I do, I do feel better. My sister barely pays me any attention for a few minutes and she keeps reading and so I lie in the sun, the white, blinding sun straight above me and even with my eyes closed it’s much too bright. With my eyes closed I’m lost in a bright red world with little neon zigzags zooming–the sun powers its way in and burns my eyes and I feel naked in front of the sun: it‘s everywhere, even in my brain, even in the darkness behind my eyes. But now I’m completely dry and want to swim again, and the water looks so inviting…

“Tim, I have something to tell you,” Carrie starts. She looks at me with her sunglasses, just turning her head a little bit to look down at me. I sit up and look at her and get scared because she sounds so serious.

“What is it?” I say and my heart clenches up, my heart clenches up and I feel that same little fear that pulsed through me when I saw only the colors on top of the lake and nothing else, so that I had to look away. Anyway I had that same pulse and I was scared. “What is it?” I say again because she is still just staring at me or passed me–I can’t tell with her sunglasses.

“I caught dad with some other lady last night,” she said. I immediately thought: well that’s good because honestly I’m not terrified anymore, the moment passed alright–but then I thought what the fuck?

“Well? When? Where? How did you catch him?”

She told me she found him making out with some other lady outside her tent and then going inside “this big blue tent with at least two rooms”–a two room tent, I thought, how dumb, and then how they went into the back room of this big blue tent and didn’t come out. And I didn’t need or want to hear anymore. Carrie just looked at me and her sunglasses reflected the sun. Her lips were quivering a little bit, and her chin was shaking and the skin on her chin was all bunched up like always when she cries.

I looked back at her and then she looked away and put one arm up to shield herself from me.
“What do we do? Does mom know? Have you told her?” I asked.
“No, she doesn’t. I think we should tell her? Shouldn’t we?” she waved her arms around in front of her for a second and shook her head without looking at me. The lake was still shimmering silver and now greens, dark, wonderful greens werecoming up too and there was foam from motor boats and waves, lots of waves.
“I think we have to. What the fuck? What is wrong with dad? Why would he do that–the mother fucker.”
She looked at me for a second and our eyes met–or at least my eyes met her sunglasses and then we agreed to tell him. I told her I would take care of it and tell mom, and I even insisted on this but Carrie wanted to be there too so we decided to do it together. We sat together on the beach for a while without saying anything and then my skin was too dry and too hot so I went back into the water.
The sun had moved a bit and the lake no longer shimmered: now it was a dull silver and green and a wind had picked up, blowing the water around and making lots of waves, which crested white as they passed me moving in. One of them–this was due to a motorboat–actually went as high as Carrie on the beach and she screamed a happy scream when it hit her feet. Now that the sun was directly above us I could look out across the lake.
And there was a lot to see out there too.

Advertisements

2 Responses to We all cheat. 7/26/2008

  1. Anonymous says:

    hmm. am i supposed to be carrie?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: