Sunday, November 9, 2008

Word of the Day - Claustrophobia

I can write about this because I have a little touch of claustrophobia myself. It isn't debilitating for me like it is for some. For me it shows up as little things. I don't like basements or attics. I must have blinds, curtains, drapes open so I can see outside. I get physically ill inside a cave. But the inside of a closet doesn't bother me at all - not even in the dark. Go figure.

Now, I love the water. I swim. When I was a teenager, I thought I'd like to learn to scuba dive, but when I was thinking about this I never had the opportunity. Several years ago, I did have the opportunity to go snorkeling. I was so excited. Everyone I knew who had snorkeled loved it.

The day finally arrived. We're at the spot. I donned the flippers. The goggles. The snorkel. And jumped in.

Oh. My. God.

Claustrophobia reared its ugly head and panic took over. I couldn't get out of that water quick enough. Pretty and amazing underwater views or not, I hated it.

So knowing that about me, you can gauge my reaction to the news of the accident aboard the Russian submarine. I've been aboard the USS Sea Wolf in Galveston. It's an old WWII sub, permanently moored there for visitors to go aboard. Tiny. I made it through the tour, but the hot, humid Galveston day never felt so good when I stood on land afterward. Why anyone would choose submarine duty is beyond me.

My prayers go out to all sailors aboard and their families, those who succumbed and those who survived.

Yet the mystery writer in me wonders . . . is that what really happened? Will we ever know?

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