1 - I Want to Tell You a Story

Submitted by Ken Watts on Mon, 11/13/2006 - 09:51

Forty, fifty years, and I still remember the sunset, the color of the sea.

And Charlie...

I want to tell you a story.

Part of it is mine, and part is only mine to tell.

Don't ask why it happened this way.

Don't ask how I know.

You might as well ask why a baby smiles—how the right woman brings meaning with her, like a shawl.

It's magic, that's all.

Like yesterday.

Like everything.

Like the color of the sea.

Picture this.

Sea and sky, as far as the eye can see. Clouds tinged with sunset, salt in the air, the lap of a wave, the cry of a gull, silence.

A young male dolphin, smooth skin gleaming, comes out of the water—quick, clean, alive— hangs for a moment against the sunset, then plunges back into the waves.

Into the thick green reaches of the deep, a liquid space where you hear the rocks, the seaweed, the fish—hear them more clearly than you can see.

You push downward, your fins driving you into darkness, into pressure, right through a school of bass. Nothing else matters, nothing. You push as far as you dare, past coral, past rocks, and when you've reached your absolute limit, you turn in a nice broad circle to maintain your speed and drive upward again.

This time the pressure of the sea is behind you, the urgency in your lungs drives you, every muscle, every sinew, strains for the surface and beyond. You fasten on the light with your mind, reel it in, drive yourself upward with fins, with torso, and it rushes closer, closer, and still you push until you think you will burst, and then… You break through, into the light, into the sky.

You soar higher, cleaner, freer than ever, and you know.

It is going to happen.