SEATTLE, Washington: Home again. But I might as well not be. I'm too busy to notice.
Hmmm. I have guests here. Somewhere. Two of them, in fact. But I'm hunched rudely over my computer, mumbling about bottom time and flashing hand signals at the screen.
I have a day to absorb an entire PADI course, normally sprinkled through a month. Otherwise I can't join the Open Water Diver gang and nose around reefs in the Bay Islands of Honduras next week.
Assignments loom. I bite my nails and quote sci-fi novelist Douglas Adams: "I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by."
Here's the flipside: I'm learning. A whole new discipline. In high school, I swam competitively, but I've since challenged myself in mountains and cities and foreign cultures, not the waves (barring a few assignments, mind, like crew and winter sailing for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer).
One horrible, horrible fact remains constant, though.
I, um, kinda like word problems.
And the dive tables are the wet-dream of word problems, so to speak. Diagrams! Impressive laminated charts! Interlocking sets of equations anchored in the real world!
Slow down my beating heart.