They called me. I was called upon.
When asked to save a coral reef, I wonder if it is natural to think of an air
conditioner. (i thought of an air conditioner.)
Train the ac vent right on the reef/cool the reef water right down.
And so I said it, the beautiful American word sure, and I bought a beautiful long
extension cord, and I dove in.
The water was an invitation. The ac shot straight and sure.
Its blast was so noisy that I didn't hear the screaming.
(Yes, there was some general movement of polyps and fish in the direction opposite of where I was standing, but it looked more choreographed than chaotic.)
Then I shut off the ac and prepared to surface. I heard, coming from the reef, the sound of a crowd screaming, panic, babies howling.
I panicked too. That's why I put the ac back on! To drown the sound.
Then to calm down, I tried to list coral reef creatures. A vague, orangey image surfaced in my mind but wouldn't stay. It darted, in my head, in and out of vast civilizations of white marbled citadels and holy places.
The ac was still on. I was thinking, if I were a journalist, I'd plunge further in and investigate the screams. If I were a scientist, I'd record the noise for later analysis. If I were a mother, I'd never be a soldier! There's a job for everyone.
If I were a person, just a person, I'd have been one of the ones screaming. Maybe I was? Maybe I was. It was so hard to hear with that ac on.
Later Addendums and Corrections to the Statement
It's not me shooting in that video.
I never left the office.
I had meant to. I was on my way to. I had signed out the most powerful ac the office had. But I didn't purchase an extension cord for the ocean. That's ridiculous! I requisitioned a generator and a boat.
The office's wetsuit fitting room was as far as I got. I sat in the stall reading a report on the reef.
I overthought the whole thing. How the generator would just make things, overall, hotter, when we wanted to do the opposite. But how it would cool off my reef, and that was all I was assigned to care about.
Fun, foam, freedom!
Sometimes a task is so absurd.
Although a paycheck is not.
The wetsuit was totally unnecessary, as initial reports showed the water to be nice and warm. (Thus the need for the ac!)
Officially, the reef wasn't a reef but a coral atoll.
Do not ask for whom the bell tolls! haha
Please don't write that down.
A coral atoll in a lagoon of an ancient sunken island.
Sometimes you have to crumble the paper and start all over again.
Raze the whole civilization if it no longer makes sense.
I do, as a side note, love the ways in which ours does not make sense. For instance, how raze and raise are homonyms and antonyms!
Or how farther and further both mean a great distance, and both impel one to keep going, and yet in America, one never knows if one should keep going a great physical distance or a great figurative distance...
If that last one makes no sense, please also strike it.
And I never got as far as the atoll. I have a PO for an ac, a generator, a wetsuit. But no plane ticket.
On the video, everything is floating along, flowing, gurgling in its own little grid of reality.
Then everything scrambles. All movement is in the opposite direction. It's as if the video were suddenly on fast-forward.
They said the video captured no sound.
But I heard the screaming. Which was why I had to put the ac back on.