It’s no wonder I dreamed of Richard Dreyfuss the night before my first dive lesson. The weirder details of the dream escape me, but I remember Richard Dreyfuss saying how tired he was of people yelling out lines from “Jaws” when they saw him on the street. This prompted me to say something helpful like, “Maybe if they said more obscure bits of dialogue it wouldn’t be so bad.” I then recited a few fragments from the autopsy scene like “partially denuded bone remaining” or something like that, but this didn’t seem to improve his mood.
Today I channeled Hooper/Richard when we learned how to handle our air tanks. “If you screw around with these things they’re gonna blow up!” etc. When I spit in my mask, I remembered Hooper descending in the shark cage, with a nervous dry mouth, “I got no spit!” Trying to adjust to the weight of the tanks and controlling my buoyancy, meant that I tumbled ass over tea kettle (as they say in New England) in the deep end trying to achieve that elusive floating sensation. Breathing underwater sometimes felt natural, and other times, as when I tried to clear my mask and ended up with water up my nose, I had to surface and gather my wits.
Above the pool, framed by an old rusted brass porthole hung a picture of a great white’s gaping jaws.
I don’t know why, but the image comforted me.