Unsinkable

We are watching Titanic, Bez, Juteau and I. Bez is making horrible fun of me for having put it on in the first place, but I freely admit to liking the film. Yes, it is melodramatic, yes, Billy Zane is wearing more eyeliner than Kate Winslet, but I don’t care. I love the costumes and I love the sets and I love staring at Kate and Leo because they are just so gorgeous.

“I don’t even know you,” Bez says as she sees me wiping away a tear as the old couple huddle together in their beds as the water rises around them.

“Shut up,” I say.

Sometimes I can’t remember what it was like when I drowned, five years old, sinking down to the bottom of the lake. I can’t remember the cold water splashing against the inside of my lungs, or the way the light rippled and turned and faded as I fell deeper and deeper beneath the surface.

Sometimes I can’t forget.

I am writing a story right now about a drowned woman, and a pond in winter. I watch Kate Winslet floating on a piece of debris in the middle of the Atlantic, and I think about the feeling of the water closing over my head, and I know the last thoughts of the woman in my story.

Juteau is asleep on one end of the sofa, her legs curled beneath her, her head against Bez’s hip. Bez strokes her hair. On the television, Titanic empties its lifeboats and prepares for its inevitable chaotic demise.

“Tomorrow,” Bez says, “I’m picking the movie. I can’t take any more of this romance crap.”

I wave vaguely in the direction of the DVD shelf. “We can watch Conan. I picked that up too.”

“That’s got a giant snake in it, right?”

“Yes,” I say.

“Okay. That, I can handle.”

Juteau starts to move on the sofa, and begins to push herself up on her elbow, even though she’s still asleep. Bez puts her hand on Juteau’s shoulder, and gently presses her back down against her hip. Juteau whispers something I can’t make out, and then is still again.

“You have to cut her off at the pass,” Bez says. “Otherwise she’s up and walking. She’s going to hurt herself.”

“No, she’s not. She knows what she’s doing.”

She may be the only one of us who does.

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