How to Go Overboard

You’ve booked passage on the ship sailing farthest, doesn’t matter where. Good. Take to the sea. Three miles out and it’s a free for all, no rules, pirate radio laws. Why go? You’ve pissed off your god, that’s why go. When your deity tells you to do and you don’t do: you’re done. Fly and hope they don’t follow. Thing is, you may not have done your math properly. Did you not think that your particular god is one of both land and sea? This one doesn’t have to follow. They’re already there. They’re everywhere, and now they’re raising up a storm. A big one. This ship is about to be wrecked. Plus, your boat is overloaded and you are looking a lot like unnecessary ballast. Last hired first fired and look at what’s going on now, the people are rolling the dice to figure out who’s got to go and it’s you.

Can you swim? Can you swim back to shore from here? They’ve tried rowing this thing back and can’t, not against these waves. They also tried stopping the wind by blowing at it, which was equally effective. It’s just as well as it’s pretty inadvisable to be a boat anywhere near the shore during a storm like this. That coastline’s got features, and keep in mind that you are much more breakable than this ship and less powerful. Besides, I don’t think you could get back to land, not even if the water were flat, not with those arms, have you seen the state of yourself? The shape you’re in? No.

Your best shot is down. When they throw you overboard, exiled in wretchedness, try to sink. Not all the way down, nobody knows how deep this water goes. But do try to sink deep. Your only option now is to find a sea monster and hope it is hungry. If you can’t be the boat be the bait. Don’t fear the belly of the beast, it is a viable option, just ask George Orwell, a person who once rowed his way out of a deadly whirlpool and has thought about it and says it’s obvious why you might enjoy being swallowed up whole: the whale’s belly is simply a womb big enough for an adult. There you are, in the dark cushioned space that exactly fits you, with yards of blubber between yourself and reality, able to keep up an attitude of the completest indifference, no matter what happens. A storm that would sink all the battleships in the world would hardly reach you as an echo. Short of being dead, it is the final, unsurpassable stage of irresponsibility. That was George on dry land. He didn’t drown in his whirlpool so I say take his advice if not mine. He knew a thing or two about being down and out, and you are out, so aim for down. It is the only responsible option.

You could find a nice whale as George helpfully suggests, or go for something similar. There’s plenty monsters in the sea so you don’t have to settle for just any Tom, Moby Dick or Hydra. Be discerning. You have options: Cthuhlu, the kraken, Jörmungandr, Sigmund, Leviathan, Gyarados, Charybdis. Don’t forget giant cephalopods: there’s squads of squid and octopuses, or if you are feeling hypercorrect on you way into the soup, octopi, or octopodes if you harbor a real need to be right, some people like to pick the bones if there are any. There will be. There always are.

With luck one of those people will be you: safe, comfortable, protected. Not dry, but not drowning is nice. You’ve escaped! So now what? You are as our equally not drowned friend George says, just short of being dead. The womb will be your tomb and you’ve got nothing but time for gestating any bit of storm you brought with you. Did you catch that? You didn’t think you came into this world naked and the rest is stomach acid? Look around. There’s stuff in here with you and it’s a lot for close quarters. Didn’t you see there was a whole mouthful of squalls and tempests and other baddies smushing with you past the teeth and down the esophagus to the gut? You thought you’d be alone? You don’t expect me to swallow that. Stomach acid burns through solitude and you’ll see you’ve brought your troubles with you. I know you were hoping to get a little quiet navel gazing done in that belly you’re in, but what are you wanting to see? Fine. Let’s do it quick. See now. There all the time without you: and ever shall be, world without end. Will you be as gods? Gaze in your omphalos baby, it means there’s no escaping your birth into mortality. Ok, good? Let’s get going then. Now’s not the time to be passive, don’t you get it? There’s no actual shelter anywhere in this story, so get up, find that fish’s gag reflex and get to tickling. Let’s hope this beast will deliver you into a safer harbor or at minimum a beach in a better neighborhood. What are you waiting for? Now go.