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The Crux of a Dream
I can just vaguely remember the two of us running together into the water on the empty beach. The clouds had covered up dusk, and the heavy greyness of the atmosphere dominated the colors of our skin. The cool wind swept above a sea cold and polluted by the sky’s dynamic depression.
We stood to face each other, the water reaching our hips. I saw my blue pupils reflected inside her large, dark eyes. We both had lost the ability to speak—but speech wasn’t necessary. She put her palms on my dry shoulder blades as I took her waist in my hands. All I could think of were the trillions of cells that made up her body and how they laid dormant, giving way to an energy that glowed in that chest and called out to me.
We were consumed by our senses, an utterness packed with such raging sentiments that our muscles felt weak under its impact, as if they would collapse. Our breathing trembled—I realized that we were repeatedly taking each other’s breaths away.
The waves speckled our faces with seawater as our lips touched. We gazed out to the sea; the horizon was muffled by profound layers of damp clouds, and the waves built up one after another, thrashing, threatening us as we watched them. Although it hadn't begun raining yet, we could already smell the scent of a wild storm in the wind. With our palms, we felt each other’s hearts racing faster and faster and our bodies shivering.
The waves and clouds would come to seize us like they did that smothered, unbreathing horizon—we realized just then how tired we were.
We proceeded further out into the sea, heading toward the dead horizon and pushing our legs forcefully to travel through the gushing water. We didn’t allow ourselves to stop—we must get as far out into the ocean as possible before thunder and lightning would slash the sky apart.
We stopped when the coast beyond the large body of water was barely in sight. We were out of our depth, so we held onto each other, looking at each other’s faces with strange, sublime gratification.
We couldn’t have kept on swimming toward that horizon—one could never get there that way. There’s no use, even, to swim all the way to the other side of the ocean; it was not the fulfillment one gets by reaching that other shore we sought—we had already what we wanted in the palm of our hand.
Among the raging waves, we let go of each other. I felt the current carry me away as I let my body rise, trying hard not to imagine the space between us growing larger and larger. Lying on my back, I didn’t feel the water tickling my sides or engulfing my ears; I only felt the rising and falling sensation in my stomach. But soon, I couldn’t feel that either—I was too fixated on the mass of clouds moving, grazing over my flat body.
Then there we were, floating in the middle of the sea. The clouds were still dark but the rain didn’t come. Although the waves continued to roll, we felt very still, and it seemed as though all sounds have gone.
I tasted the salty seawater and kept my eyes open through its sting. I looked straight at the hanging depths of the sky. And that was all I saw: an enormous canvas of uneven white and gray, blotched with humid, dark blots of despondency.
I felt like there was no space between me and the clouds—no space to breathe as they seemed to hover so close to me they could brush lightly against my skin. It was just the ocean, me, and an immense blanket of heavy, dark clouds.
Realizing that the waves have calmed down, I glanced at my side and saw her floating nearby, only about three meters away; her arms and legs were spread out, like mine, and her eyes were wide open as she stared up at that sea in the sky. She saw me; we looked at each other for a second, and then shifted our eyes away again, letting them soak in the wet, cold air emanating from the endless vision of clouds.
I suddenly became sharply aware of our bodies. I thought of them drifting half-naked without control, limp and lifeless on the moving water, while we were actually somewhere else, as if we’d deserted our bodies in the middle of the ocean. At one moment, I found myself choking up tears when I became aware of that beautiful, agonizing tranquility.
Everything was unmoving, like we’d reached compromise with the sky. Time had stopped, and we felt as though we had stopped it. The clouds had ceased their raging resistance against us, and the ocean had existed only to carry us to that moment. Were we there for minutes or hours—I couldn’t be sure, because, for just a glimpse of our ambition, the concept of time had vanished.
Then, when water still ran upon water and the clouds still hung, I heard splashing. Turning myself upright, I saw her swimming toward me. She grabbed my shoulders and said quietly: “I’m scared, Dave.” Her voice was shaking. I wasn’t able to fully comprehend. I said: “Why?” I couldn’t recall whether she’d answered my question or not when she started again: “Dave, I want to go home.”
The rain started to come down on us. I looked up at the falling water and smiled widely, acknowledging the fantastic feeling of triumph. I imagined falling back and sinking down below, where I may see the raindrops enter the ocean’s surface from underneath. I wanted to watch the rain pour out of the clouds that may never become empty; and I had a thought: “I'd be long gone before I see the bare sky again.”
I laughed—and I’d never laughed a laugh so genuine; I could hardly recognize myself. I felt a pull on my hand—she was tugging it. I said: “Okay. Okay.”
Heading back, I followed her while still glancing at the rain behind me as it became one with the boundless ocean. I couldn't stop thinking about the great vitality with which it rejoiced us as we steadily made our way back to the waiting shore.
Once our feet met the wet beach, we both turned around to gaze at the scene of water upon water upon water—the lively ocean was too busy in its redemption to notice us now.
I took her hands in mine.
“What happened?” I asked.
“It’s like everything had become nothing,” she said, “And nothing is nothing, Dave, and I’m too attached to take it in its wholeness.”
I kissed her hands, realizing now that while the rain falls, while the clouds shift, and while the sea rolls, the universe sits, never to be found, untouched by all theory and all passion, becoming nothing over and over again.