=== so, now that you’ve got me up here, would you tell me something? === what? === well, will you? === what? you want a promise? === uh-huh. === why? === cuz it’s important and awkward at the same time, and if you don’t promise and I ask, and then you don’t answer me, I’m going to feel awful; like I intruded or something, and the intent isn’t that; it’s just being with you and watching, I’ve been thinking of this question for hours now… like I said, it’s important. === okay, I promise. ===
he put me down on the ground; now trying as hard as I could not to drop my eyes (hadn’t all day, but now): === my shoes? they’re here somewhere; there’s one… there’s the other; okay, what are you afraid of? === you’re asking me about my own fear? === uh-huh; I need to know why it’s necessary you carry a gun; you’re not a violent man – no, I don’t see that – only courageous and with an instinct more than genius I’m realizing is you, not movie scripts… you are more genius than others who’ve been labeled so, so please tell me. why? === how old are you? === 17. === come on, let’s sit over there on those rocks. ===
we did; he brought his second canteen and pulled out a pack of smokes – offered me one, which I took – then told me I shouldn’t smoke… (?!) === okay, you gonna tell me why? === if you can see what it is I brought you up here for, I’ll tell you; how’s that? and it’s a what, not a why. === huh? but, you promised. === my answer will be a what; that’s what you asked for originally. === fine, what will explain why. === maybe it will. ===
from where we were watching the day, the ocean was wide with wet sand sparkling in the sun and the horizon shimmered further out: a glowing line between the sky and the water – so bright it shown silver instead of gold; and there was nobody’s individual noise heard so though we could see the cars and the movement (of people) without definition, all of those things didn’t exist in this day; neither did the steep cliffs going down to the great pacific coast highway, they melted into the picture below without distinguishable height, as they’d have appeared if situated above – everywhere, it was crystal clear with little else to be distracted by: a few gusts of wind over an ongoing gentle breeze made shrubs rustle and grasses move – but not enough to cause sounds more than in whispers (could he hear them? I hoped so.); not much else made its way in. the feeling was overwhelming; like a purposeful reprieve to become lost in so as not to find need elsewhere in the world; observations so small, almost stilling, remained enough to take in and everything stayed unending, and in layers like a mystery waiting to unfold – that was the day… I wasn’t worried but did start wondering whether or not he was going to answer me; or had I ruined the fun we’d been having? it was an honest question; just concerned curiosity as nothing I’d watched would indicate violence so there had to be something else he was intentionally cautious about – and how he’d now stopped on hearing my question – like I’d accidentally reminded him of the [what]: I was sorry for my intrusive question, but I had to know, so I wasn’t going to let it go.
we’d been sitting on the rocks for about a half hour without speaking when I heard the tiniest gasp develop in him, and my eyes went to his and then followed where he was looking to: === look, that’s it – I see it! ===
ribbons of aqua with gold and peach and cream floating over the water in circular figures of the softest kind, like a sheen of dreams actively passing by in hours during day’s light. === oh, my… === you see it? you do? === uh-huh, why wouldn’t I? you wanted me to see them === seems nobody else can see it – i’ve been acussed of hallucinating in the flow. === it’s not a flow. === what? === i mean, it is, but it’s not a random vision. === how? what are you saying? === huh? === tell me. === i’ve seen the same kind of vapor a few times; while out on the ocean mostly – the sirens’ effervescence shining up to heaven. I mean, they’ve remained such an unanswered part of history… always someone explaining them as if they weren’t real… as if they were only a dream for those damaged souls to hang onto while they turned back into the sky away from the tides they were drowning into. === where’d you learn that? === nowhere. just thoughts, trying to make sense. === pretty. === well, you have to entertain yourself while sailing, and I spent a great deal of time on the water when I was a kid – days upon days, so there’s a great deal of time to think about this stuff. === you’re a sailor, you don’t look like one. === my dad, he’s the salty dog – I was just his sidekick on trips to Cabos and LaPaz – he liked to sail to Mexico and I liked watching him be peaceful, so I always wanted to go with him; on land he could be upsetting, the trips kind of evened him out. you know? anyway, he once told me though he wasn’t able to see the vapors, himself – told me, that’s because he’s color blind – that he’d read about them quite a lot – sailors who’d survived disaster chronicled their encounters with the sirens who’d led them back instead of taking them with… === you wonder why. === huh? === why nobody wants to believe. === actually I’ve always wondered why I can see them; I mean supposedly the sirens are only for those lost; does that mean I’m lost and this is all a dream? === remember this day then; me too – reality is a mystery. === so what? === I did promise, didn’t I? === yes, you did. ===
(to be continued)