(11) Seafaring by nicholaiv

(11) Seafaring

a short story by nicholaiv

Atop an islet, a jagged tip of a submerged cluster of volcanic profusions thrust from the ocean floor, sits a man. Lines of salt have already begun to form on his dried and bare shoulders, which have darkened and reddened in the beleauguering light of a clear mid-afternoon. He looks onwards where enormous tankards and cargo ships with names of countries are minitiaturized and misted and grayed by distance, and the black unevenness of the horizon signaling land sits tauntingly beyond the still vessels. In adrenaline's calming afterglow, the whip of the waves and the warmth of the sun, which hangs in the sky like an angry eye, and the hallmarks of gray industry and man in the distance, hum with power. 

This little rock he's currently perched on seems a fated coincidence that saved his life in his 6 hour long international swim; as his strength was failing, it appeared; and for a moment he feels his journey is as monumental as the shifting tides and the turning of the earth. 

The sharp calls of gulls pulls his attention skyward, and he notices a small flock circling above his rock in swooping arcs. And far above the crying gulls hangs a winged speck, perhaps a hungry hawk jealously aware of the commotion in this tiny corner of its vast hunting grounds. 

The man suddenly feels small, a meager and tiny mote in the eyes of the hungry hawk against the interminable breadth of flagging blue. Again a sour mood overtakes him, the fear and yearning that brought him to this rock, that stings him worse than the sun sloughing the skin off his salted shoulders. The hours-long swim that looms ahead of him he welcomes with the mania one feels when heeled by a heavy heart, and he is ready to throw himself against the indifferent ferocity of the waves with the narrowed view of a hungry boar, and let his suffering and humanity sink to the bottom of the ocean. What remains is more treacherous than the sea. 

When he would arrive undocumented on those foreign shores, his search for his love would begin; and he'd be hunted like a dog. He would find whom he was looking for, that he was sure of; but it was unclear what questions would be asked, what sentiments would be shared, what horrors and wonders of the heart lay ahead, and whether he'd have done better as meat for the sharks. From this is where the well of his misery sprung. 

He throws himself into the sea.


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