Agony Ant: Still Thirsty

Prompt: Survival

storm at sea Robert_Salmon

Dear Agony Ant,

I was on a private Polynesian cruise with my boyfriend and two other couples, when there was a perfect storm and the boat sank. Everyone drowned except me and Arness, who was named after a TV actor. I didn’t know him well, though we became acquainted after spending several weeks on the open sea in a little dinghy, with no water or food.

So what’s the problem? you ask. Well, the thing is, we survived the ordeal, or I wouldn’t be writing to you, but something happened while we were floating, totally alone, with no hope of rescue or comfort.

We were not concerned about betraying our partners, since they were dead. And in fact, I was not interested in sex with Arness, and he didn’t really need me to satisfy him, if you get my drift. So that was not the problem.

He also talked in his sleep, which was not a problem either, since his nighttime ramblings about goats and Microsoft, were, to me, more interesting than his careful, conscious conversation, during which he avoided topics of philosophy and fixated on basketball.

The thing is, we went almost a week without water, even though the sky was overcast and the air was heavy and humid, and we bobbed on the ocean in our little inflatable, dying, probably literally, of thirst.

We set out the cup we had, and cleared the bottom of the dinghy of debris, and prayed to all the gods, foreign and domestic, for rain.

And the gods answered. We got a full one-third cup of water after the rains, and after we sopped up the rainwater pooled in the bottom of our inflatable with Arness’s t-shirt, and squeezed it into the cup.

My lord, we were beyond knowing what thirsty was. When you are thirsty you feel a tickle in the back of your throat, right? We, or,at least I, were beyond the tickle. It was what we dreamed of, awake or asleep. It is, of course, the old irony, of “water water everywhere and not a drop to drink”. There is something extremely cruel about a Being that would put you in the middle of endless seas and watch you die of thirst.

Anyway, we collected our water, through careful planning, patience, and desperation. There was the almost-half cup of water, not as pure as we would have desired, since it contained a lot of Arness’s body salts and smells, by way of his t-shirt, but it was water.

We did rock-paper-scissors to see who would take the first sip; who would have the first half of the water.

Arness won. Damn that rock.

“Just half,” I reminded him, as I passed the cup into his hands. As if he needed reminding.

He nodded, though, and brought the cup to his lips.

When he handed it back to me, it was empty.

Empty. Arness stared at the cup, and then at me. “Oh my god,” he said.

I upturned the cup into my mouth, and not a drop found its way to my tongue.

“My tongue was a sponge,” Arness said. “Oh my god, I’m sorry.”

I ran my finger around the edge and bottom of the cup, in search of a water molecule, and failed to find one.

“It only felt like a sip, Casey, honestly,” said Arness.

So we got rescued a day later. We have been back on dry land for a few months now, and Arness fluctuates between calling me several times a day to see how I am doing, and calling me several times a night, drunk, to see how I am doing.

The fact is, he decided his life was more important than mine while we were floating on the ocean.

I have an opportunity, through my job and connections, to sink Arness’s career and throw him out onto the street. We work in a competitive financial environment, where I am on the rise, while Arness has made one or two promising gambles, which blew up in his face.

Should I exact my revenge for his nefarious deed in the dinghy?

Still Thirsty

Dear Still Thirsty,

Ahoy! I would throw the blighter overboard with just a lifesaver (the minty kind you find at the supermarket checkout).

Or, write a tell-all book about your TRUE LIFE experience, and in interviews on your book tour with late night talk show hosts, insist you have forgiven Arness for his unforgivable deed, relating it in great detail each time.

If the host asks if you had sex, scrunch up your face and say, “ew”.

Peace and love,
agony ant

Dear Agony Ant,

But would I have done any differently, if I had won rock-paper-scissors?

Still Thirsty

Dear Still Thirsty,

Thank goodness you will never have to know.

Peace and love,
agony ant