Sunday, November 6, 2011
Octopus Dreams (from a novel-in-progress)
My body is not a body. My body is a boat. There are no passengers. Only this engine roaring inside of me. This life I must make sure never stops. It trusts me. But I have to trust it back. I have to let myself understand why I am on this sea at all. I open the tiny door beneath me. Take a look inside. The engine is shiny and new, not the dirty overused thing excepted from a boat that has worked as much as I have, that has had its parts inspected and searched, broken down into a thousand little pieces, put back together again. Slowly, piece by piece. The will to live is not difficult to find when you can control your heart beat, when you can remember that there is more than just you in this world, that you are a boat yes, but this thing moving beneath you is the sea. It does not end. I open the tiny door. Take a look inside. The engine moves with a rhythm so sweet it almost makes me cry. I rock the engine gently back and forth, encouraging its movements with my own. Or maybe it is the sea holding its hands out, cradling us in its prayers, letting us understand how fluid we must be if we are to survive at all. And deep inside the waters I see that black thing. Perhaps it is a boat that sank long ago, skeletons and chipped golden teeth, the silver and gold bangles, the jewels and rubies of a better life, stuck inside its engines. People change their minds. People do not listen to you. The impossible thing is that someone will learn how to stay away from what is yours. The sea is black now and something wraps itself around me, sucks everything out from me. I open that tiny door. Take a look inside. There are tentacles wrapped tightly around my engine. It is a black thing now. It struggles, my engine. And then it no longer moves. I am no longer a boat, but a sunken treasure. I do not know how to save such things. I am tired of trying. I let her devour me, those black octopus legs. I will not ask for any more saviors. She does not dare look me in the eyes.