Driving Merritt Parkway North. With Whale.

Friday evening, late rush hour. Traffic is crawling up the Merritt Parkway, my alternate route for I-95 North. Waze is navigating.

Sirius 70’s on 7 cues up Steve Winwood with Back in High Life Again. Damn tune is more than 30 years old! “From fifty to eighty”, Grace Paley said. “Seconds, not minutes.”

The intermittent stop and go, inches us forward. The pace, is ok. It’s been a long week, a long day, and we’re in full surrender mode. Weekend come, come, come, pick up the pieces. Humpty Dumpty sat on the wall, Humpty Dumpty had a…

It, the day, started at 5:30 am.  Office dark, floor quiet, and I’ve lost myself in a deliverable with a short fuse. A losing of yourself in yourself. The clock is ceaseless, unrelenting, in its march forward: 6:00. 6:30. 7:00. 7:30. 7:45, and all without notice to the occupant in the office.

I save my work. Hit print. Close my eyes for a second. The internal gearing of the laser printer warms, the file contents zip across the cables and Bam! – each of the four pages are spit onto the floor.  I peek at my watch, 8:00 am. Two and a half hours. Wow.

I lift my head from the silvery screen, making a quick break from my opioid, and stand. Too fast. 

The lights dim, the eyes blur, nausea fills the belly. I reach for the arm rest on the chair. Steady Dave, steady.

I’m half way down the hall to the rest room, and my line veers left. Wheels need alignment but not coming off.  I pull back to center, but I’m tugged left. Give it a moment. Has to be vertigo, a temporary condition. Natural balance will be restored to its rightful place. Just give it a minute.

I step into the restroom, the disinfectant, a smelling salt. I stand in front of the mirror, splash cold water on my face and let it air dry. Both hands lay flat on the countertop, which is dry, clean, and unsoiled from a full day’s hands.  Woozy. The Head, a Balloon, in a multi-pack of balloons, tethered to a string, slapping in heavy weather. 

I text my assistant, who pops her head above the divider: “Please, create a gap on calendar. Something’s off.”

I wave off the “You ok to drive home?” before she leaves for the day. “Time you called the Doctor, no?”

Doctor? No.

It’s Melissa Febos’ shadow in Abandon Me that lurks in the deep waters, where it swims in the Bluest of Blues. 

Like the dark length of a whale passing beneath a boat.
It stole my breath –
the shock of my own smallness,
the strength of the unseen,
how easy capsizing could be.

How easy capsizing could be…

So, there it is, frightening and seducing at the same time. More disorientation gifted in a day not short of wobble.

I wait out the storm. Wait for It to tire of its wait.  And with two flaps of its flukes, it fades, swimming far out to sea, the gentle waves of its Wake lapping my skin. 

It’s gone. For now. 



  1. beautyful, really

    Liked by 1 person

  2. roseanne333 says:

    Your assistant is right. Just do it. As much as I enjoy your commuting series, we don’t want regret.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Christie says:

    I feel badly for you..You must get into the Doctor, then the specialists! You must get some answers..

    Liked by 1 person

  4. There’s only one YOU, pal…gotta take care of yourself. CALL THE DOC!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Take care of yourself!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Your are right, how easy capsizing can be..β€œHow do you define taking care of yourself? Create a new self-care practice today. Observe your comfort levels when it comes to being good to yourself. Discomfort is a wise teacher.” Caroline Myss ……. Listen to your teacher Mr K.:)

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Get to the doctor, don’t let it get so bad that it will result in something more serious.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Anonymous says:

    Someone/thing is trying to tell you something. To listen is to learn. Or not.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. it seems pretty obvious to me that it’s time to see a doctor; if nothing else, it will make for an interesting read when you write about your visit…

    Liked by 1 person

  10. May you make the wise decision.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. i hope that you go and have a check, part of taking care of yourself. do it for those you love, including yourself. you are so dedicated to get to the office so early, use they dedicated power to get yourself to the doctor. take it easy on yourself. why push the limits?

    Liked by 1 person

  12. carolwelshphotography says:

    Go to the doctor…really! I waited too long about 10 years ago with the same sorts of symptoms and ended up paying a heavy price. Go to the doctor.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Now you are scaring me!!


      • carolwelshphotography says:

        Sorry…but you need to go. I had bleeding ulcers (but didn’t know at the time), was feeling very tired and dizzy, almost feeling like I was going to black out before I finally went to the doctor. The day that I went I could barely walk I was so dizzy. I was immediately admitted to the hospital, threw up an entire sink full of blood (exorcism stuff for sure!), had lost half my blood supply, and very nearly died. They thought my heart was going to stop beating because I just didn’t have enough blood. Anyway, you just never know sometimes…so go to the doctor and find out what is wrong. Please.

        Liked by 1 person

  13. Orthostatic hypertension….symptom, not diagnosis. Dave, go to the doctor – get checked and reassured. And my friend, you need a new rhythm to the beat, beat, beat of your work life. Said with affection, so don’t be pissed…

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Those were my exact symptoms when I had a heart attack. I know symptoms are different for men and women but I would hate for it to be something serious. My symptoms went away after a few minutes but I went to the ER, they did some tests, had an angiogram, and now I have 3 stents.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Be well, my friend πŸ™‚
    We need you…

    Liked by 1 person

  16. You know, this is fabulous reading. I, for one, want to be able to read many more posts fr

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Hmmm. 😦 I think your other readers have said it all but I couldn’t leave this post without adding more than a rather inappropriate Like.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Beautiful photo. You know that your posting your thoughts is your subconscious yelling for the push you need to go find out what this scary thing is that happened. Not wanting to know, but you need to go find out. May be nothing, but if it’s something, it can be dealt with. I hope you are reading this in the doctor’s office.
    Nancy Nurse here, over and out.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Resistance is Futile.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. I saw my whale too. It knocked a coffee cup from my hand and taught me a lesson…manage your stress. Now. And I didn’t see it again, not that big. Take care of yourself. Please.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Do the right thing for you. You are precious. πŸ’›

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Hockey players don’t go to the doctor!! CTE in full swing!! Stubborn you are..

    Liked by 1 person

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