W grabs for the rope to scramble up the side of the cliff. Photo by David Lansing.
W, the newlywed on our sunset cruise, wanted to jump off the cliff. Which was crazy because W wasn’t capable, at this point, of walking from one side of the boat to the other without falling into someone’s lap. And, hell, we were anchored.
“I don’t think that’s a good idea,” said Elvis.
“Oh, hell!” said W. “I’ve been jumping off that cliff since…since I was 9 years old.”
“I still don’t think it’s a good idea.”
W was asking everyone on the boat to go with her to jump. “I know I can jump,” she said, “I just don’t know if I can make it back to the boat. I’m not the best swimmer.”
I asked W why her hubby didn’t jump with her.
“Because he’s a pussy!” she shouted. Her husband rolled his eyes and took a swig of his beer.
“W,” he said, “why don’t you just go for a swim. I’ll go for a swim with you.”
“Because I want to JUMP OFF THE CLIFF!”
But her hubby wouldn’t go with her. Neither would either of the other two newlyweds. And I certainly wasn’t going to get in the water with a drunk woman, scale a ragged limestone cliff (with a prominent sign at the top that said in big bold red letters ABSOLUTELY NO JUMPING!).
Finally Luscious said she’d get in the water with W. I asked her why on earth she was doing this. “I’m worried she’s going to drown,” she whispered to me. “I’m worried she going to drown you,” I whispered back.
At that point her hubby had a change of heart and said he’d jump off the cliff with his wife. “Come on, let’s go,” he said, diving into the water.
If this was a movie we’d all be sitting there thinking the same thing: Someone is going to die. That’s exactly how I felt: Someone was going to die. So, of course, I got my camera ready.
So W got in the water and Luscious got in the water and Luscious tried to keep W afloat long enough to swim over to the cliff. There was a rope hanging down the side and W grabbed that and tried to pull herself up out of the water but was so drunk that she kept bouncing against the rocks. It was an ugly thing to see. But she didn’t give up. She struggled and struggled until she found a toehold and pulled herself up and out of the water and then bounced against the cliff some more while she used the rope to climb to the top.
I could hardly watch at this point. What I was most afraid of was that W would slip while running to the end of the cliff and she’d just tumble over the side and crash on the rocks below. You’ve got to remember that this is a girl who was so drunk she couldn’t hold half a glass of champagne in her hand without spilling it.
And then just like that, she shrieked and ran towards the cliff like a foal on wobbly legs, threw her arms up in the air, and screamed as she went over the edge.
How long was it before she surfaced? Not very long. But it seemed like forever. She screamed again when she finally came up for air. Luscious was right there to steady her and help her swim back. It wasn’t easy because W was laughing in that nervous way people have after just avoiding death and she was swallowing a lot of water and shivering though it wasn’t the least bit cold out. Together, with the help of Elvis, they got her back in to the boat and wrapped a towel around her. I’d never seen a girl shake so much. It was like she was in shock. She had some nasty looking scrapes and bruises on her back and thighs but bygod, she made it. Just like she said she would.
W, left, and Mrs. Pookie, far right, thank Luscious for getting W back to the boat. Photo by David Lansing.