The Wave Gazer

by Anna Marcelli Palmer

Hither and thither they go.

Restless. Unchanging. Monotonous. Dreary. They wrestle their everlasting battle with the shore, every morning, and then, every noon when the wind blows sweetly, waves and sand -the eternal adversaries- kiss as though for dear life; and the trees lean over to watch the extravaganza, rustling their leaves in a gentle applause; and the sky paints itself a proud, royal scarlet, leaving small tints of gold floating on the water surface.

The waves, oh, the waves! They froath, and sing, and scream, and roar, powerful enough to mold the rocks, and yet affectionate enough to caress my fears away. They froath, and sing, and roar, and I am the only audience to their melancholic monody, the only one able to understand their unspeakable fate. They froath, and sing...and roar, and I tell them about what I remember, although there's no one really there to listen.

Back and forth they go. From dawn to midnight. From midnight to dawn. Today. Tomorrow. Forever.

And I watch them.

To tell the truth-what people consider as one, at least- my memory's too hazy for me to trust anymore. Happenings and lives pass in front of my eyes like an unintelligible mixture; I can't recall how or why, o-or even when I started doing this. Now, if anyone really cared, I'd say it has been forever-and maybe that's also true, considering that humans perceive "forever" as the span of a lifetime; and since the early ones of the many I've lived my mind can't resurrect, then yes: It indeed has been forever. Or many forevers, if you want.

Funny, isn't it? Have you ever tried to just stand on those jagged rocks on the edge, without moving, and keep looking down at the sea? All it ever does is dance -like it won't be doing the same the day after and the one after it. Never changing. Never sleeping. Like me. You understand now why I keep doing it? We keep company to each other. It may seem incomprehensible, or even insane, but people can't hear, they can't feel. They can't even know how it is to be like the two of us.

Unchanging. Restless.

Sometimes, when the weather opens up and the cold succumbs under the daylight and zillions of colors and fragrances dominate the cliff, many citizens come here, with trinkets and packs and things that -I think- I used to know well in some of my previous forevers.

But what was I saying...? Ah, yes-the visitors. The civilisation -if that is the word- that craves for a good dose of raw nature, and comes every single time the snow melts, directly from that repugnant grey blur in the horizon behind. Short and tall they are, fat and thin they are, yet remain all the same to my eyes. They never notice me -or just pretend they don't- and I, in return, never turn to face them; I don't like the civilisation coming here. Everyone says it is a good thing, a nice thing, a changing thing. But I don't change. They say I am a bad thing. Many times images of it as it used to be many forevers ago pass in front of my eyes like nightmares. I think it killed someone. Or maybe more than one.

It's so confusing. So self-convicting. So saddening. I d-don't know. But I hate it.

But wait, wait! ...I remember! I used to somewhat like one of them- a female. She had first come over with her parents. She was still short then, like all those creatures are in their early forever, with bright golden hair that reminded me of the sand, and blue eyes that reminded me of the waves. I can't say for sure if she had a name. We had never talked to each other. But I think she looked like someone dear for me, someone long forgotten.

She was the only one that had turned their face to look at me. A small, insignificant movement you may say. For you, maybe. For me it was a shock, the warmth the feeling entailed. I...felt at that moment. And for the first time in many forevers I wondered. What is she thinking? Why is she staring at me? Do those peculiar beings feel so flustered when someone turns their gaze toward them?

The event heralded two or three more similar to it. The girl was always taller, always different, always gawking at me, sometimes even smiling-with that heavenly, unique way that showed off that tiny, infinitesimally tiny mark on her right cheek. For the very few hours we sat next to each other, time didn't seem so solid and unbearable. Infinity didn't matter, and, believe it or not, even someone like me wanted to hold that moment, press pause and stay like this -ha!- forever.

Anyway. Be it crazy or not, we never said a thing to each other, and obviously, I never understood the reason of her friendly demeanor. And, considering the change I've seen on her daughter -the old lady that brought some short, loud persons with her the other day- my friend must be sleeping for a long time now.

Lucky thing humans soon go away. Away with them goes the laugh, the sound, the migraine beneath my skull, the unexplainable grief that overcomes the senses. So I can simply wish they didn't leave all that little personal stuff behind, the materials in which they keep their drinks and food, so as for them not to oscillate along with my companion, back and forth, back and forth, back and forth, devastating, heart shattering, brazen, reminiscent of that horrid civilisation.

In the most regular and vertiginous of flashbacks, I see those creatures mocking at me, telling me I am worthless, an inferior life form, a waste of money and research. And then some of those point high, where the sky is, and say "he" has created them. I was afraid to ask you what that meant, or who "he" was, lest you'd understand everything and leave me. It doesn't matter though; it can't be such a big of a deal, since whoever it may be, he made the nasty grey blur in the distance, the laughs, the mocking and the small colorful stuff that oscillates on the water surface and...

...You 're thinking I 've lost my sanity, don't you? Heck, you may even be right. But the subject never has consciousness of its own paranoia, so I wouldn't tell for sure. One moment the universe is crystal clear, and my mind is relaxed and empty, and right after it the eyes of that fearsome male penetrate mine, moving hither and thither, back and forth, back and forth, familiar, as if behind a worn photograph, and with a perturbing, atrocious gleam deep in them. Their owner expressionless and lost; you think I haven't tried to talk to him? That's the worst part of it; his lips move, in a certain ominous way that prepares the listener for abhorrent, poignant words, and I know he's trying to warn me of something terrible- a forgotten nightmare that strangely remained between the lips. That is, if any voice was ultimately produced at all; the best thing to do is to ignore him. Never have I liked that nightmarish, silent, revolting man.

Days passed. Months passed. Years passed. Back and forth, hither and thither. Flowers withered and flowers grew. So many faceless little people asleep. Such a never ending cosmic rampage. Such a needless fuss. Light and Darkness flirt their undying interchange, and I still am here, vehemently counting forevers with my faithful wet pendulum.

...Sad? I don't feel sad. Not anymore. Not with you.

You came a day like all the rest, with nothing particular or fascinating in it. Rabid conversations flickered with a light breeze, and small traces of grass shyly propped their heads against the weak spring sunlight. The water shimmered with conceit, welcoming the humans that, defying the relatively low temperature, had entered it. There were also some small fish, if my brain isn't playing tricks again, quietly roaming under the surface; I examined them, wondering how it would be like to be one of them, to travel with the waves and forget -oh, ever so easily. A small, uninteresting, quiet life, without existential questions, doubt and pain.

The funniest thing is that I had seen you, and yet your view didn't stimulate anything inside me, as human books always claim things to happen. There, right where I am now leading my eyes, sat a rather plain, short young woman, in a weird outfit I -not claiming to know many things on people's way of thinking- was used to seeing only on individuals of the opposite gender. On her lap lay a strange white material -some sort of paper, probably- on which her hand, small and delicate, moved rapidly with a long, cylindrical stick -a pencil or whatever. Never chatting. Never laughing; just standing on the edge, papers in hand, with an expression on her face that somehow clashed that of the psyched croud all around us.

What caught my attention, though, was something else. Green, smart eyes, deep, insanely, illogically deep, rolling over the waves; back and forth they travelled, following the infinite commotion underneath; hither and thither they frolicked, vivid and luminous shards of emerald in a grey world full of scary, identical dolls. And the plain wilted in a flash, pallid and ashamed in front of their evergreen gaze. And my heart raced in overdrive when that gaze halted on mine.

I'd lie should I say that your beauty was breathtaking; lame would it be if I said you immediately stole my heart. My criteria are different from those of your race. The lightning in your eyes at that moment was more than enough. The hallucination of being alive it gave me was more than what I could ever bargain for.

It changed my innumerable forevers.

Oh, I really wish you'd say something. Anything you want-just give me a sign that you're listening. Now it's easier for me to tell you the truth; a tale of how I fell in love with you and how I never found the power to reveal you that I was different; a tale of how I was afraid that you would get disgusted by my true nature.

You loved a gun. You should have seen it coming. This, I mean.

Hither and thither you go, back and forth.

Oh, yes. I really wish you'd say something.