It’s Why We Like Looking at the Sea

Sometimes I go to the edge of the water. In dreams this is the place where I see the bones of the dead being carried in by the waves. I asked myself once: what if the ocean surrendered all of its dead? Would they come to us whole? Would they return to the lovers they’d left?

I imagine sometimes that the water will be colder than it is. I’ll dip just a toe in and my body will flood with ice. My blood will form crystals, each frozen cell unique as a snowflake. I asked myself once: why thinking about the deepest parts of the sea causes shivers to run up my skin? Was it the darkness? Or was it the way that being underwater, lost, feels a little like the time I dreamed that the world got emptied out and there were just places where you used to be but would never be again?

There are moments, sometimes, when I dream of walking on water. The feeling never lasts and I always plunge through the surface. The waves cut like glass. I asked myself once: why the water in dreams never acts quite right? Is my sleeping mind unable to ever remember exactly how the waves move or what the sound of a splash is like? How will the ocean sound after it has been emptied out?

Sometimes I go to the edge of the water. I am always about to reach out but never do. The waves pull away from me, the surface breaks apart, the sky isn’t a reflection but rather really there under the water and drowning. I asked myself once: what would I do if I chose just once to jump into the water willingly? Would the waves not let me sink, but instead embrace me like a long lost lover returning? Would I drift for a thousand years until the water and the waves and the sound eventually turned me into just another piece of the tide?

I woke up, just the once, from a nightmare about the sea. I could never remember what it was about, but I know that in it every question I had ever asked of the waves was answered.

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