Column Chronicles
Memories from afar
Frank Cotolo
May 2, 2019
I have many memories, though some are vague and some are obviously invoked after heavy meals, and I am always in the mood to share them. Like now...
There was a dust storm in Saudi Arabia and dunes were developing over the vast envelope that is the desert. We had been walking for a while after we lost our tour guide - or did he ride away in a camel on purpose?
We came upon an oasis; either that or we were stricken with a mirage as the hours passed without hydrating because our water cans were on the camel which was ridden by our tour guide and he was long gone. We thought he may have gone on purpose but we did not think clearly when dehydrating.
That oasis looked good, even for a mirage, and we believed it was real to the extent that we lay upon the ground and performed the backstroke as if the sand were water and no one had urinated in it.
I don't know exactly when it happened but I realized I was alone and all the time I was thinking it was we lost and having a mirage it was only I.
A similar situation occurred when I was ice skating in Norway. Sometimes extreme cold can have the same maladies as extreme heat, only one is hot and the other is cold and if you are ice skating your hands begin to chap and your lips begin to stiffen and you look at the ice with prayers that it may melt and you will be exposed to water - water, water everywhere but most of it is frozen.
That was the same year I learned to perform an escape trick, one created by the great Houdini, who had died many years before, primarily because he was born so much earlier than I. It was a cunning trick, utilizing bicycle chains, Scotch Tape, cotton balls and a palm tree. It was going well, I thought, until a twenty-wheeler rolled down the road on its side and severed the palm tree. I was told such a glitch had never befallen Houdini.
Such memories, so many adventures in so many different places covering the map of this great globe of ours. Wait... I am having another one, something to do with friendly fire, Yemen and an object shaped like a carburetor...
Frank Cotolo can be found hosting the talk and interview programme Cotolo Chronicles. You can send him an e-mail at this address:
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