before the water lets you in.
When it finally comes, it is not like a tidal wave, a sudden swell that rises and crashes and disappears and is reabsorbed into its surroundings. It is a tsunami, a great volume of water displaced by a tectonic shift, moving inexorably toward land, a side effect, delayed but moving like a shadow until suddenly it is there, a wall of water, unstoppable, erasing everything, moving, moving, moving, pushing, inescapable.

There were no ripples, no signs, just the false hope that maybe it would not come, that there would just be tremors, a few waves, maybe the threat of a storm at worst. Those are navigable, you douse the sails, you wait for it to pass.

But when it does come, it is paralyzing, as a wall of water ready to crush and overtake is wont to be. You curl around a pillow because it is the only thing that is there, overtaken, sick, sobbing, drowning. You can't get up, can't move, can't speak, can only shake and hold on and hope that wherever it is pushing you is somewhere better. It has been eight days, and finally the wall is there, beating against you, a cataclysmic force not so literally earth-shattering but more potent.

You wish you were anesthetized for this too. Maybe that would make easier riding out a tsunami that you chose to face alone, so you would be the only thing in its path to be brought low.