When I was a kid, around age 10, we had a yard with a split rail fence. I would lay on the bottom rail, holding the top rail while I found my balance. It was tough because the rails were round and could twist a bit side to side. As soon as I was stable enough to release my arms I would imagine that I was suspended over a deep pool and a killer whale was gliding under the fence, its dorsal fin just inches from my back. This made the balancing challenge much harder. I could never sustain the position for long. I would get frantic and fall off.
Illustration courtesy of my son.
There must have been something delicious in that faux fear as I would do it over and over, making it more real each time. But I also knew that what I was imagining could not happen.
Now the game is to listen to talk radio while making dinner, then try and forget what I heard while eating with the family. Not falling off would mean I was enjoyable to be around rather than freaking out. I’m about as good as I was then, I can do it but not for long.