I normally don’t dream (or, more accurately, remember my dreams), but when I do, they tend to be rather interesting. The latest was like some sort of Monty Python movie, so I thought I should share elements or scenes from it. Be prepared.
I was in a large aquarium, like those found in zoos, and – for some unbeknownst reason – the zoo needed ME to scuba dive into the largest, central exhibit and help them fix a filtering apparatus that was located on the bottom of the tank under a large, decorative piece of coral. I scuba down there (I do, in fact, have a SCUBA license, BTW) and start repairs with a small repair kit and water-proof flashlight.
However, as I’m working, I reach for the flashlight without looking. It feels like a small fish is biting my wrist and so I slowly turn around only to find a WHITE TIPPED REEF SHARK completely consuming my hand and latched onto my arm at the wrist.
The fear I immediately feel is not, for some strange reason, compounded or augmented in any way by the completely irrational fear I have of sharks (I fear sharks in SWIMMING POOLS – I have no idea why). Instead, I frantically bop it on the nose a few times and then poke its eye. The shark disconnects from my hand and swims off into the tank, leaving a small cloud of red and some little bits of flesh floating in front of my mask. When it starts to clear, I can see people in the exhibit area are screaming, and although I can’t hear it well in the tank, there is a THIRD GRADE science class field trip directly outside the center window running frantically in all directions and crying. OMG.
I decided at that moment it would be prudent to get out. I swim up to the ladder at the top of the tank and flop out onto the ground. Many workers are there, trying to provide help as I take off my tank and regulator.
They ask me, “Oh my God! How could this have happened? Are you alright?”
Looking at my hand, I see bite marks around the wrist.
To which I respond…… “Oh, don’t worry – It probably only grazed the vein. Or, in other words, IT’S ONLY A FLESH WOUND.”
I start chuckling a bit to calm everyone as I hold my arm up to show them how uninjured I am.
At which point, my hand falls right OFF.
There is frantic confusion and a stream of blood hits a feminine labworker right in the eye, who proceeds to run and fall right into the tank. It was a scene from the Marx brothers, with people trying to pick up my hand now slick with blood and complete with the “WHOOSH” sound when it slipped out of their hands.
For whatever reason, after an interlude of comic shenanigans, we all manage to get an elastic tourniquet on my arm and my hand in a bucket of ice.
My mother – for some odd reason – is present and we decide that having her drive me to the hospital would be quicker than waiting for the ambulance. We get in the car.
As soon as we’re on the highway, my mom apparently decides to cheer me up:
“Oh, Alan, don’t worry too much. Prosthetics look just like the real thing.”
“I DON’T CARE ABOUT PROSTHETICS. WE’RE GOING TO THE HOSPITAL TO GET MY HAND PUT BACK ON.”
“But there are SO MANY colorful and innovative new designs for prosthetic noses, hands, feet, and other body parts!”
“Why are we talking about prostheses?!”
“Honey, look! [pointing to a store off the next exit] There’s a prosthetic store up ahead! If I get off at the next exit, we can have you fitted and….”
“I am half dead.
I am quite possibly in a state of shock.
So why is it that out of the two of us mine is the ONLY BRAIN THAT SEEMS TO BE WORKING IN THIS CAR?”
At which point, I woke up.
Yours in Christ,
Br. James Dominic, OP