"Grab you some ass, bud! Depeche! We fallin' in!"
Roger Simon, my friend and my pilot, is yelling at me. Ro-get See-mone from Bayou Lafourche, Louisiana.
God, I hate flying. My brother Bo said, "Aww, come on...work offshore with me...you'll love it. Especially that flight out."
Too windy. I knew it was when we took off from Morgan City. I started not to get on. Even Roger looked worried. And he's not afraid of anything.
We were almost there. That last gust did it.
It feels like a movie. Slow-motion. Spinning. I see everything.
The platform. The guys watching us. The sky. The water.
The water's getting closer. Rising up for us. I'm no longer afraid.
Roger is still screaming at the helicopter. Fighting it. Wrasslin' it. Like it's a monster.
We hit. But I don't feel the impact. Just a sudden feeling of warmth engulfing me. The Gulf of Mexico is engulfing me. Is that ironic? Ironic...not the right word.
We float for a few seconds and then we begin to sink. Roger and I look at each other. He smiles at me. A smile that says, "Mo chagren, mon ami." I nod at him. It's all okay.
We're totally under now. I'm trying to get out, but I can't move. Not sure why.
I can see the pilings. Covered with millions of barnacles. How do they reproduce like that? Amazing.
The water is much clearer once you're in it. From the platform it always looked murky. Now I can see things.
My God...that grouper looks just like Elvis Pressley. I gasp. My first breath. All liquid. Unfortunately I'm not Aqua Man.
"Wake up! Wake up, baby! You're not breathing. Wake up!"
I gasp again. This time air. Beautiful, lovely, sexy oxygen. 5...6 more deep breaths.
Finally I look up at her and I say, "I'm one lucky son-of-a-bitch."
One other thing: I'm not going in to work today.