Friday, December 25, 2009

Real Life A Long Time Ago

It was midnight. They walked barefoot on the hot, summer asphalt in silence.
Silence can mean lots of things, like lack of words, anger, sadness. But not for them.

They had spent a lot of the summer like this. Together, going places, doing things. Each of them contemplative and silent, but still bonded together in a strange yet unexplainable fashion.
He liked to drive for miles and miles aimlessly through the countryside.
She would open the sunroof and recline the passenger seat, kicking her feet up on the dashboard and tracing the silvery specks in the sky with her mind that was, for once, in a serene state.

For them, silence was how they spoke. The gentle whisper of the un-uttered secrets hung between them as thickly as the humidity in mid-July.
There were no words needed to understand. They had already said it all.

She kicked a stray pebble in his direction and he kicked it back, the soft tones of his deep, mellow laughter blending in with the rich, velvety darkness of the night.
"Let's race."
She looked at him with her face glowing in the dull, orange sheen of the lamplight.
He looked at her expectant expression laced with a restless curiosity that he loved so much, and smiled.
"Okay."
They ran, the wind streaking through her hair like invisible fingers unknotting a tangled mess.
Their heavy breaths were released in almost-perfect sync
Until, exhausted, they collapsed in the long grasses of the field
that were wet with the dew of a premature morning.

They lay catching their breath as the crickets and frogs serenaded them with a din of beautiful choruses.

She stood up and walked to the side of lake, watching the reflections of the tree branches above vibrate with the ripples of the water that shook the sleek surface, even though the air was still.
He tore off his shirt in one sleek movement and dove in the water, breaking the glassy surface
that had held her in a trance.
She did the same, stripping down to her underwear and transforming suddenly into a reckless mermaid, pulsing through the smooth, cool water, barely realizing that the moon above was a perfect, geometric circle.

They climbed out of the lake, dripping wet and returning reluctantly to their human forms.
In the guarded havens of the water, nothing seemed quite so difficult.

He drove her home in the wee hours of the dawn, right before the sky turned from a deep shade of blue to the reddish shades of the rising sun.
Her wet hand clasped his, as if they were each others' last solid anchors to the rapidly revolving world around them, to the complexities of their individual lives that neither had a firm grip on.

And when she let go, she wondered when she would see him again,
Or if she would at all.

But sometimes, it was the mystery of not knowing that kept her going.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Moby Dick, Chapter 23

"When on that shivering winter's night, the Pequod thrust her vindictive bows into the cold malicious waves,
who should I see standing at her helm but Bulkington!
I looked with sympathetic awe and fearfulness upon the man,
who in mid-winter just landed from a four years' dangerous voyage,
could so unrestingly push off again for still another tempestuous term.
The land seemed scorching to his feet.
Wonderfullest things are ever the unmentionable; deep memories yield no epitaphs;
this six-inch chapter is the stoneless grave of Bulkington.


Let me only say that it fared with him as with the storm-tossed ship,
that miserably drives along the leeward land.
The port would fain give succor; the port is pitiful; in the port is safety, comfort, hearthstone, supper, warm blankets, friends, all that's kind to our mortalities.
But in that gale, the port, the land, is that ship's direst jeopardy; she must fly all hospitality; one touch of land, though it but graze the keel, would make her shudder through and through.
With all her might she crowds all sail off shore; in so doing, fights 'gainst the very winds that fain would blow her homeward; seeks all the lashed sea's landlessness again; for refuge's sake forlornly rushing into peril; her only friend her bitterest foe!


Know ye now, Bulkington? Glimpses do ye seem to see of that mortally intolerable truth; that all deep, earnest thinking is but the intrepid effort of the soul to keep the open independence of her sea; while the wildest winds of heaven and earth conspire to cast her on the treacherous, slavish shore?


But as in landlessness alone resides highest truth, shoreless, indefinite as God- so better is it to perish in that howling infinite, than be ingloriously dashed upon the lee, even if that were safety!
For worm-like, then, oh! who would craven crawl to land!
Terrors of the terrible! is all this agony so vain?
Take heart, take heart, O Bulkington! Bear thee grimly, demigod!
Up from the spray of thy ocean-perishing- straight up, leaps thy apotheosis!"