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Ten-Point Dismount
Thursday. 8.1.13 12:36 pm
I haven't told you a proper story in a right long time.

Monday was a weird day for me. I work at the YMCA, and in one of the backrooms we have a freezer for emergency ice-packs. I'm not sure how long it's been there, but recently I noticed that there was about six pounds of frost accumulated on the shelves and walls inside. So I took it upon myself to let the whole thing thaw out on the pool deck over the weekend, (the pool is closed on Sunday) which meant I had to come in Monday morning to make sure it got put away before it became a hassle to swimmers. Since we open at 5:20 Monday morning, that's when I had to appear.

As I was wrestling this massive freezer back into the corner it belongs to, I noticed it was leaving scrapes on the floor. No big deal, since the places is basically a glorified closet, but it hadn't scraped on its way out so I was curious if maybe something was stuck to one of the feet and was marking the floor. One by one, I lifted the corners and felt around underneath to dislodge any debris. Unfortunately, as I was tilting the thing back, it slipped backwards and stamped down on my finger.


The irony was that all the ice packs were melted. I've had worse things happen to my fingers, but MAN I was displeased.

Since I was already up and I'd been feeling sort of spiritually lousy recently, I decided to devote some serious time in the Word and praying. I managed to get out of the YMCA and drive to the airport near my house just in time to pray with the sunrise. It was wonderful and I need to make it a goal to do that more often. Then I grabbed some essentials and headed over to the city park. There's a nice little area near the playground and some picnic tables where I can set up my hammock and just chill. I've had the thing since Christmas and I still haven't perfected the art of hanging it. There needs to be some sag so I can lay diagonally, but not so much that I slip into the center over time.

The plan was simple. I didn't have work until 3:15 PM, and I got there at 8 in the morning. That gave me seven hours! I could spend the day in the hammock and split my time between prayer, reading, calling/encouraging some peeps, possibly playing Chrono Trigger, and of course napping.

Clearly, napping had to come first. I slipped into the bag with some music and settled down to snooze. Unfortunately, I had tied some of my knots with a bit of slack, and a few minutes after I started dropping off, I literally dropped an inch or two when the knots slipped taught. For the brief moment that my heart failed to beat, I thought the tree was falling on me. I calmed down, but kept thinking about what I would do in the event that I was fast asleep and the tree really did fall on me. I probably wouldn't wake up until I hit the ground, and I would the smallest moment to roll out of the way. And that's assuming the tree falls directly over me; if it falls to one side or the other, which is most likely, I might very well be rolling into more danger. It's sort of a scary thought, actually, because I'm not sure there's enough time after hitting the ground to avoid a serious concussion and/or several broken bones, at the very least.

That didn't stop me from falling asleep. Eventually I awoke and went through the rest of my schedule. I'm happy to say that it was extremely beneficial; I got my head right on some stuff, gave and got advice with some of the guys back in Atlanta, and asked a girl on a date. Good stuff fo sho. There were moments when passing families created something of a raucous but it didn't really bother anything except my napping.

It came to pass that near two o'clock I started playing Chrono Trigger on my tablet. It's an old game that's apparently one of the best games ever created. It set the standards for great storytelling and gameplay. You should read about it. At the time I thought I was getting near the end because the plot was getting nuts. It turns out that I was woefully wrong; instead of transitioning into some falling action, the plot as only increased in craziness since then. Anyway, I played for a while, sitting in the hammock like sitting sideways in a canoe. Very comfortable, except for my legs.

It's 2:40. Still plenty of time to get to work.

I hear a weird noise. It seemed to be coming from my left, but I have to lean forward to see around the edge of the hammock. No animals, no kids. Very well.

I hear it again. I recognize the sound as a sort of creaking. I figure maybe my knots are loose again. For some reason this doesn't disturb me right away.

I hear an awful lot of creaking. I glance to the left to see if the rope was slipping or anything. Double-take. The tree is moving towards me.

Honestly, I'm not entirely sure what happened next. Basically, I removed myself from the hammock. I don't know exactly how because it is stupid-hard to get out of the position I was sitting in. Then I was on the ground, and rolling. The tree fell somewhere behind me. I didn't notice until several hours later, but I have a cut on my chest and on my face, presumably where tree shrapnel hit me. The cut on my face is like an inch from my eye. So that's cool.

You can see that it's rolled a bit from where the stump is in the bottom of the photo. I'm not sure how it got to its present position, it seems like it would have to rotate because there isn't as much room for the top half to roll as for the bottom, but I digress. I'm thinking it was falling directly on or very near the second tree. Maybe it collided and fell/rolled to the right. It very easily could have gone in the other direction and then...well, I'd probably be in a hospital right now.

I looked around. There was a couple playing with their kid on the swings nearby. "Did you see that?" He nods. I look at my watch. 2:45.

Guess I'm going to work early.

I think I would be far too paranoid to ever sit in a hammock that was tied to a tree that skinny. Or well, if I wasn't too paranoid before, I certainly am now.
» randomjunk on 2013-08-03 03:47:00

See I feel like there's a separation between ones beliefs and actual religion. Because when I say religion I mean organized religion. And church = the average church you'd find in the Midwest. I feel like once a small home group church grows up to the point where they're an entity with official papers and a building, it strays from the purpose it had in scriptures. I confuse myself with my opinions too hahaha
» jabberwock on 2013-08-03 03:21:03

AND SOMEONE SAW IT. I hate when something super impressive happens and NO ONE is around.

ryc: It's not really something one can get off one's chest...sort of a constant struggle and something I think about (/am forced to think about) daily. But, I was glad to have shared my feelings about the current issues regarding it at uni.
» Unicornasaurus on 2013-08-04 04:44:37

tree killer!
» Zanzibar on 2013-08-13 05:36:42

GOOD GRIEF, that was close!
» invisible on 2013-08-19 08:06:03

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