How Heavy Is Water
a short film by Austin Oliver and Nick LeBlanc


How Heavy Is Water
a short film by Austin Oliver and Nick LeBlanc

Animation, Sound, and Foley by Austin Oliver
Words, Concept, and Narration by Nick LeBlanc
Narration recorded to tape by Dan Letourneau

How Heavy Is Water
by Nick LeBlanc

I had a bump on my face.
It was nestled deep within my beard.
My jawline throbbed when I ran my fingers over it.

Ah, I said, an ingrown hair.

I pressed it with my forefinger.
I felt a wriggling,
Some thin and powerful something
Pushing back.
I pressed harder.
It emerged.

It was a hair alright.
Brown, thick, and coarse
Like the rest of the strands
That had pushed their way
Through the skin of my face.

I pulled on it.
I expected pain.
There was no pain.
I continued to pull.
Out it came, longer and longer.
Soon, it was all the way down to my ankles.
I continued pulling until I could no longer.
It must have been a half mile long.

I went into my parent’s garage.
I love the smell of a garage.
Leaning against the wall was my grandfather’s deep-sea fishing rod.
With a yank,
I removed the hair from my face,
My eyes watering sweet tears of rice wine vinegar.

I sat on a stump which my father had driven an ax into.
For two hours,
I wound the hair around the reel.
Then, I fed it through the eyelets
And up the rod.
I tore off one of my toenails and fashioned it into a hook.
I attached this hook to the hair
Which I had fed
Along the rod.

I rode my bike to the river.
I reached into my pocket
And removed the knife
I always keep there.

I cut off my tongue.

Still wriggling,
I stuck it to the toenail hook.
I leaned back and launched the line,
Casting it hundreds of feet deep into the river.
There was a tug,
Then another,
Then a pull.
The rod was almost torn from my hands.
I fought back with all my might.
Up from the waves emerged a tuna.
It was the largest tuna I’d ever seen.

Must be one of them river tunas, I said.

I dragged it ashore,
My beard-forged line remaining strong.
Once it was ashore,
I unscrewed my foot from my body
And beat the tuna on its head until it stopped wiggling
And its face had turned to putty.
I dug my hands into the fish’s lifeless body
And feasted on the sweet, tender flesh.

Then, I farted three times
And flew to the moon
Where I fell asleep
Under the shade
Of a transplanted weeping willow.

I was awoken by a man who told me he had invented algebra.
He granted me three wishes.

I wished I could see things with the eyes of a child.
I wished that I had been born a happy man rather than a smart one.
And I wished I wasn’t stuck on the moon.

He gave me a ride home
Where I had the best sleep of my life.

All of this really happened,
I swear.
Or maybe I’m just thinking
Of a dream I had.