Sunday, August 15, 2010

Riding Down the Rapids of Memory

I watched a young Bob Brown ride the rapids of Franklin River on a documentary showcased on the The Australian Screen website.

First of all....I was horribly ashamed because I forgot where the Franklin River was. I didn't think it was in Victoria or New South Wales, so I guessed it was in Western Australia; maybe somewhere around the Kimberley.

I went to look it up.

It's in Tasmania.

How did I forget that?!!!

You know...the whole Franklin River Dam thing.

I felt really stupid.

Really. How could I not know that?

Anyway, watching Bob Brown ride the rapids reminded me of the one time I did the rapid thing. Actually, I might have done it twice. Once was in canoes, so I'm not sure if that counts. That was pretty wild though, so maybe it does count.

My mom loves to tell the story. We went on this canoe trip with our neighbours/friends. I guess we took some kind of break from the boats, and hung out in the water. I got picked up by the rapids, and floated down stream. My mom says they say me drifting away, and I just calmly waved good-bye. I don't remember it much, and I don't remember them eventually finding me. Obviously they did...somewhere and somehow.

I'm not sure how old I was then; it was somewhere between third and sixth grade.

I'm trying to remember the details of the story. I think MAYBE my mom says that I called out something like See you on the other side. No wait. I think that's a line from Lost.

I'm all confused now. Next time I see my mom, I'll ask her to repeat the story.

My mom has these certain stories about us that she likes to tell over and over. I should really have them memorized by now. Another infamous Dina story involves me as a very young child (younger than 5) insisting that my mom's friend show me her boobs. I don't think I got my wish. I still have a thing about breasts though. I think I must have been a breast-obsessed man in a past life. Or I guess I could have been a breast-obsessed lesbian. Who knows.

Oh, I'm totally off track. Let me get back to the rapids.

The other rapids trip I did was at Camp Wak-n-Hak; the Cystic Fibrosis Camp in Georgia.

The first year I was there I went along on the little wild rapids field trip.

I remember very little. I think I blocked out most of the scary bits.

I do remember that the guys I went with kept calling me Tina instead of Dina. I was too shy to correct them. I was VERY shy back in those days.

And I remember that this 12 or 13 year old guy named Josh flirted with me, and asked me to go to the camp dance with him.

I should have been honored that Josh asked me out, but instead I was horrified. I was a very insecure 16 year old. I looked much younger than my age (about 12) and I was very embarrassed over that. I had never had a boyfriend. I had never been kissed. I hated the fact that the first guy to show interest in me was so...YOUNG.

I politely and gently turned him down.

Josh didn't do a good job hiding his disappointment. I felt incredibly guilty. And I felt very sad for him. Oh, and I also felt sad for me since none of the hot older guys were asking me out.

Later I also felt foolish because I discovered the cool mature thing to do at this camp was for the older counselors to take the young campers to the dance. I missed that MEMO. So by saying no to Josh, I was putting myself even more into the pathetic and immature category.

I guess at one point Josh forgave me because I ended up taking a photograph of him and his brother together. Or maybe I took that photo before the whole fiasco.

Anyway, guess what.....

About six years later, I started dating Josh's brother. Then later we got married.

So although Josh never became my camp dance date, he did become my brother-in-law. I don't know if I ever brought up the dance thing with him....probably not. I wonder if he remembered all that.

Once he stayed with us for a couple of weeks. We got along during his visit....once in awhile. He was on medication that made his hands shake. That really sucked because drawing was his big thing; and I think maybe he had stopped drawing because of it. This one time we were sitting together and for some reason he got brave enough to try drawing again. It was hard to watch...his hands shaking so much. But he ended up drawing me a damn good orangutan. I had been really into primates at the time. I bet if he were alive today, he'd draw me something Australia-related. Maybe a cockatoo or koala. That would be awesome.