Respite of the Ocean

He sits on the beach looking out on the quiet ocean. Only the lightly clouded sun and the gentle, subtle, roar of the beach bound waves to keep him company. He goes for a stroll down the ever pliable sand; toes gripping and legs fighting for traction. Sometimes the sand is firmer and lessens his burden, but sometimes he has to traverse over the sand’s natural castles. Every encounter challenging him to take on the fortress or otherwise maneuver elsewhere.

The sun is out in full force now and the water so welcoming. He knows the water will not refresh his thirst, but maybe it can refresh his spirit. He heads down and abruptly the sand gives way. A frantic scan upon reemergence turns up only water as far as he can see. The sun’s rays are once again screened by clouds; fading as soon as he gets his bearings. While his feet continue to scramble to find footing he convinces himself that this isn’t so bad. He is passed by schools of unfazed fish. A turtle who is perfectly in its element swims by. “Is that a grin from the shelled reptile?” the man wonders. “What hubris,” he thinks, “to judge me by my weaker setting.”

The aquatic company leaves him, growing un-enchanted with the man. Just as soon as he loses sight of them, his head is plunged in the water. He tries to rise to face his combatant, but his strength fails him. He flails his limbs to find his assailant, but there is no one. His sinewed body cannot fight for him. Resigned, he tries to relax and not think about the impending oxygen deprivation and the ensuing cascade. The turtle makes his way back and offers the man a coffee straw out of pity. He accepts the serendipitous, albeit impractical, offering and slowly sucks his way back towards hope between waves.

The voices in his head are strong. “JUST OPEN YOUR EYES!” they scream, for how is he supposed to get home without seeing the right path. His head still sealed under, his eyelids retreat back into their sockets if only for an instant before his eyes cry out and blur from the stinging salt. “JUST BREATHE!” they scream for his straw is too narrow and how is he supposed to get home without breath. With mouth agape, his voracious lungs are only greeted by saltwater. His straw now gone, he fights his cough to keep his remaining air. “JUST SWIM!” they scream, for how is he ever supposed to find the right path if he is idle. His straw gone, his eyes burning, and no sense of direction he raises his arms to swim, but goes no further. The sea has him beat. As if sensing the acknowledgement the waves pick up, thrashing him back and forth, the water like concrete against his skull.

What a welcome respite from the voices.

 

Keep rambling on,

Sam

 

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