Lake Effect

Lake Effect

By Patrick Pomeroy

Some men understand their fate on impact somewhere deep inside. The same way another man understands their spine erupting, a row of electric dominoes, adrenaline-flooding. Swimming quite high from a downed water-plane now twisted and sharp like a discarded tuna can found sinking in a Christmas-time lake in Minnesota. The former are forced into a quick prayer their last glance is the man whose childhood was spent on the water with the ease of confidence that comes with a mother and a father who forget his name and instead use words like “Good”, “Good”, “Good” coupled with “Boy” , “Boy”, “Boy” until the man’s memory becomes focused narrowing like a camera lens and all he remembers of his first name is “Good”, “Good”, “Good” and “Boy” to be no less important just not as quickly remembered with nearly four hundred yards to shore in water no more than forty-five degrees.


Having the memory of his Grandfather’s mooring and creaky wooden dock nearby and the cool Atlantic Ocean, which bobbed up and down during summer breaststrokes to and from the floating styrofoam marker faded in orange and red paint. Resiliency made an audacious debut with a little less than three hundred yards…where the frozen muck would be greeted with more relief than a missing lover. Like a friend passed over for a wedding invitation, hypothermia arrived intoxicated by its own volition and wouldn’t be named by lips as white as the snow gently falling causing near death in stifled, crazed laughter at the thought that the snow was not snow but stamps dumped from a mail bag spilling out of a beautiful silvery Winter cloud. With nearly a hundred yards to go and ears and nose a deep crimson the second laugh turned to a warm mist as he instinctively jerked his head up to release the heave birthing a suddenly deep sob that stood alone in the indifferent cold.  He knew that even with less than a hundred yards it was snow falling, that it was winter and that his legs were beginning to fail him and he could not send letters to his Chloe or his Father who had named him ” Good”, “Good”, “Good”.


The remaining fifty yards would yield the end of the plane, effortless and without strain. The lake providing deliverance. Now he could feel his eyes in their sockets. The only thing he had above forty-five degrees. As his legs gave out descending like logs so too did the toes of his boots find the hard bottom that would be unwanted muck in the summer but today saved the man so long ago called “Good”, “Good”, “Good”.

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