Death Canoe Ride

Cap Kotz
2 min readMay 25, 2024

Unbearable is a heavy mist from an unknown source. I cannot run from it; if I seek shelter, no roof can withstand the weight. There is finally nothing to do but inhale exposure to doors of long-ago death, flagged with colors of hyper-arousal, a lurid canopy of confusion. An angry trumpet hides beneath death's excitement, alerting me to keep going until I hear the violin and saxophone canoe bobbing on the shoreline.

I am supported and steadied by an androgynous Ferrier as I step into the long, wooden craft. I lie down on padded slats, and the Ferrier tucks me in with white cotton sheets, leaving my closed-eyed face free to the air. Then, they stand on the paddler platform and push into the current.

The first leg of the journey follows Tchaikovsky's The Sleeping Beauty, a harp slide of tinkling broken heart glass shaping an orchestral plunge into exultant, unbearable pain.

The Ferrier steers with a long paddle into swift waters, and I can feel death beneath many skin layers of cymbal crashing into a drum roll loss of breath.

Enya's Storms in Africa score the second leg of the journey. The close, warm tribal night ushers me deeper into ancient sycamore shadows, and my breath slows into acceptance. I lose focus on others and drift deeper into dissolution.

There are no words, stories fade, joints no longer need to function in cranky discord. Secular choirs line the shores, a sonorous, rich velvet lining over the cotton shroud and my face.

I cry for all of the years I've paddled in unloved pain, falling from youth into a swamp of disconnect passed on through generations.

I hear guns and screams, and the water thins with blood. The Ferrier guides us into a quiet veil of forgiveness, and my body sheds a lifetime of forsaken not fitting in despair as I ease into golden sunlight on the other side of limitation to Dr John's Swanee River Boogie.

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Cap Kotz

Writer and Story Mapping Guide, I follow the life path no matter how challenging.