The Sea

A fictional short story, written on:  July 17th, 2018

The sea, the sea- he trudges forward, knee-deep in the stale brine water – there is nothing but the sea. Everywhere he sets his eyes upon, he sees the sea; stretching infinitely away from him, somehow becoming the center of everything. The snot-green sea, the lavender-purple sea, the midnight-blue sea, the crimson-red sea; the silent, the murmuring, the roaring, the screaming sea; the placid, the mourning, the rapturous, the enraged sea. In his eyes, there reflects only the water of the sea – the sodium, the chloride, the sulfate, the magnesium, and the potassium, that rolls and parts ever so slightly by the curves of his calves; racing forward, away from him, so much faster than he.  

He does not stop, he straightens his back and walks on, by duty, it seems. To lift a foot, and set it on the uncertain solidity below; then, to push ahead, and replace the foot again- everything of the process all over. He trudges on. The human ambulatory process must carry on. One must walk when one is alive, they say so all the time: six days in a row, plus, perhaps, one day of rest – then again, and again, and again. There is no stopping. 

There is no use in it, in anything at all.  

He marches toward that slit with a tired resolution – a determination that is light, fragile, faint, yet irritably persistent. For the same unfounded determination he believed that something would happen, something game-changing and grand, a savior of this ridiculous mundaneness that would free him of his current state of being. Yet, what it could possibly be he had no clue, but he ties his entire heart tightly around such a belief at all times, a deep-rooted devotion to such a wish. 

A sensation of nausea emerges from within, the depth of his bowels, resonating against his ribs. It shouts unintelligibly, in protest, perhaps, of complaints for the heaviness of bloodshot eyes, the throbbing of a splitting migraine, the suffocation of a breathless palpitation. But, he hears it not in his ears anymore – as he has already been deafened as time passes, for those sounds – those noises – are unnecessary to the conveniences of walking. 

Despite this, a sensation of a sharp foreign matter intruding his consciousness is still present, digging and clawing its way into some taut string of his brain. 

The horizon, a thin slit in nearby distance, is a fine line that sits comfortably on the sea’s surface, so thin it is like a splitting high note; between here and there- and threatens very soon a crack to be opened. He stares intently.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

And there, within one blink of an eye, there is a movement, there is an opening, and there is light. He quickens his pace, the water sloshes and splashes and beats on his limbs violently. He lifts his leg with more force, the noise and the pain and the feelings quietened in anticipation. He runs. He fixes his gaze upon the one point of light, a burning, scorching glare of desire and hope. Chewing on these craving thoughts he moves on; his wider strides leaping one after each with youthful sprightliness that he thought has long gone away into nothingness.

It seems so close, so near, he could almost smell the dry waves of its heat! His heart trembles and shivers; he could hardly breath. Right at the moment he witnesses the birth of the light, it has become the one single thing he’d ever want, to touch it, to be close to it, to be a part of its luminance. 

The light is blinding up ahead, and he is sure that he is indeed close to it. 

With all possible strength he hauls himself up each single step he takes, which for some causes has became gradually heavier. Has the water thickened? He wondered. Like the gradual drying of cements, he finds it difficult to make his routine movements. He feels distant from it, a stranger to the sodium and chloride and sulfate and magnesium and potassium water that he thought he has dwelled in for his entire life. 

He could hardly move, and for the first time in a long while, he pauses – and he surveys his surroundings. 

There are people, everywhere, in every corner, in every possible space that this sea’s capacity could hold. Like writhing, struggling, and floundering worms near their deaths, they all stagger toward the light. His glance fleetingly passes over so many faces – strange faces, grotesque faces, faces of despair, and faces of ecstasy – and, familiar faces, too. His mother’s, his father’s, his siblings’, his lover’s, all of whom he thought that he had forgotten cleanly of. Glancing, strangely, directly at him. Yet so fleetingly short those visions are, as each persons is covered by waves of men from behind so rapidly, he could hardly ascertain if they had been real, or not. 

Standing still amidst the stream of stagnantly flowing people, and as every person stumbles toward the one light, the one hope; he truly does not know what to do, or what he is doing. For one instantaneous flash, he feels lost. The light- what is there to it? And, what is there after it? He could not be sure, and for the first time in a very long while, he feels sadness welling up in his empty container of a fleshly body. 

Before he completely comprehends, he is compelled to move on by the crowds of people, blindly pushing forward. His legs could not move, and he fell into the water – which he just realized has already rose to the height of his neck. 

He could not put up a struggle, and he does not want to. As he sinks toward the bottom, passing through the weaving tireless legs of others. He realized that the water has been thickened by blood. Blood from him, and everyone’s, too; and he knows, that there is not so much for them to expect of the light now anymore, it seems. No one will ever reach the destination of their hopes and desires before they all fall, too; he is sure of it. 

He sinks, recalling the life that he spends on walking in the sea. The snot-green sea, the silent, the placid sea.

 

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