Thursday, November 11, 2010

I Die, Alas, In My Suffering

Catalogue of Some Notable Lake Superior Shipwrecks

1680 - French Jesuit Renee de le Carre and a crew of fifty or so men, embark on an ill fated journey across Superior. Le Carre loses his mind after seeing a crew member accidently step on a hairless mouse. He sets fire to the ship and most of the crew perishes in the freezing waters.

1750 - A crew of seventy-five men -- along with another Jesuit, Guy Montaigne -- dissapear while crossing Superior. The wreck is discovered in 1968 by an amateur diver. Among the belongings of Montaigne is a shrunken head, thought to have originated in New Caledonia.

1810 - Independently wealthy, Franco-English painter Emile Rose sets up camp along Lake Superior, near what is now Terrace Bay, in order to paint landscapes. Somehow, a quasi-religious order springs up around Rose, attracting an estimated one hundred followers from neighbouring communities in a little over a year. By 1815, this number has nearly doubled and the order have started work on a large ship, which they intend to sail out to an unknown island to start an independent colony. They set out some time in May of 1818 and capsized within the same day. Miraculously, it appears that Rose was the sole survivor.

That reminds me.

Last weekend I was hanging out with George under the International Bridge, which spans the St. Mary's River, which links Lake Huron to Lake Superior - - and we were throwing rocks at the water.

"Oh shit, do you see that," George asked, gesturing towards the shore.

I looked over to the water and saw that it had worked itself up into an extremely vigorous boil - - bubbling with quite a bit of violence - - working itself up into an exploding white net.

"Hm," I said, and approached the shore.

As I peered into the water, the bubbling calmed down almost entirely, and I could see my reflection on the surface. I squinted and turned my head in an attempt to see past my image and, like when you suddenly see the faces in the image of the vase, I became aware of an enormous mass of lamprey - - thousands of them - - tangled in eachother, churning the water around them - - intermittently tightening and loosening the muscles in their disgusting mouths.

"That's strange," I said.

At this, the lampreys suddenly resumed their previous vigour, splashing water into the air.

"What the fuck is it," asked George.

"Lamprey," I said, taking several steps backwards away from the shore. "A shit ton of them."

George laughed and put his hands on his head.

"What the hell is a lamprey?"

Then, like a small atomic bomb, or like a solar flare the water splashed up and a black-grey shape rocketed out of the spout and tumbled, or really rolled up the rocks and settled at our feet. George and I looked down.

"That's fucking disgusting," said George.

Now this might seem a bit farfetched. This might be pushing it - - but I will have to push it, as the principles of Truth demand that I reveal that there before us, by our feet was a lamprey - - bent backwards, latching his parasitic mouth onto his own tail.

"He's killing himself," I said, stupefied.

"No," said George, delicately lifting its stiff, looped body up with a stick. "It's dead. Way fucking dead."

He dropped it back to the ground and it wobbled around like a coin before somehow putting itself right and gaining momentum. George and I followed it with our eyes as it rolled back into the water.

"Hm," I said, suddenly feeling very weak, easing myself down to the ground. "George, I think I have just had a vision of the grotesque regions of my true self. I really fucking think I have."

"Hm?" asked George, not seeming to hear me; feeling around in his coat pockets. "Should I roll us a doob?"

To Be Continued...