Monday, January 12, 2009

Alonso the Sea-Hound the King of Fun

Alonso is my youngest brother and when he was 5 he got knocked over by a wave playing in the surf and it only dragged him under for just a second or two but he came up gasping and grabbing wildly for the shore and from then on in his mind the sea was all death and panic. After that day, if we ever managed to drag him along to to the beach, he always kept a constant 100 ft between him and the shore, his fear of the water would keep him aware of where he was on the beach, always on guard, and he never once fell for our tricks trying to herd him towards the water, he would never even let his foot get wet.
It took a couple of years of constant goading and exposure to the beach, of inching toward the waterline at a non-threatening but torturously slow snail's pace, but now, for the past 2 years Alonso's gone werewolf and turned into some sort of indefatigable sea-hound. He has this energy in his chubby grin and this possessed look that gathers others into a following, and he's making up for all the lost time when he kept himself dry and now he is on the other end of the rope dragging everybody else out of their comfort and calm to come splash and roll and be alive in the wash where the waves come down to explode and die. Even on freezing windy days when we go meaning just to watch the fishermen on the pier Alonso can't leave without diving into the water no matter what he's wearing no matter the water temperature his spirit and his joyous thrashing keep him impervious to the cold. We could all be huddled on the sand in our jackets and Alonso'll be splashing around in the shallows with his wet mop of sheephair over his eyes and his happy beastly grin, grinning at how he can not only endure but enjoy what other people won't dare do. Sometimes I hate taking him to the beach because I forget the power that comes over him, how he'll look at me from the water grinning and goading and daring me and he shows me the fact that he's in the water means its totally possibly for me I have to just get over myself and the cold and Alonso he smiles because ever since I showed him what he could do if he pushed himself and didn't make excuses for himself he's been holding up that mirror to me and telling me not to make any excuses for myself, to get into the cold water and I have to listen to him because he is 8 and like all 8 year olds he is the King of Fun.