Mobilis in Mobili
· · · — — — · · ·
one knows not what sweet mystery about this sea,
whose gently awful stirrings
seem to speak of some hidden soul beneath"
- Ishmael *
· · · — — — · · ·
I remember a dream. A name. One I heard, but cannot recall. Like the stirring of the waters, a shadow in the dark, the visage of a ghost, ever faint, barely there, a shimmer of salmon scales in the light that pierces the depths like a sliver of heaven. Barely there. Barely there. I am groping, raking empty waters with outstretched fingers. Moving forward. I can feel it, just past my fingertips, just beyond the dark. A brush, a gentle glance. Something. And then, the memory fades. I am alone. As I once was, have always been, and always will.
I wonder, not much, if they remember? If only briefly. Do they wake in the night. Do their hands still tremble, slick with sweat, when they look to the ocean. Do they lose their grip and succumb to the undertow of all they let go. Me. Where I fought. Desperate to pry myself from the grips of..."it". With the echo of a heartbeat in my ear, and a plea on my lips. I begged. Their eyes could not bear the sight of me, cowards. It was so easy for them. When they didn't look. Already cast from their minds. Stricken from the record. To save themselves. Only themselves. And. They let me go. With all the weight of their guilt. Me, a fading memory. A shadow in the ripple of the tides. No who. No what. No if. Had Been. Never been.
And I watched my ship sink.
As I, dragged down to the depths,
Was swallowed whole.
And there I saw no man come for me.
Starless, weightless, empty.
Alone. In my descent I thought I had dreamed of sleep. Eternal and everlasting. Only to find my eyes had never closed. And that dream I had begun to never have - a whisper in the dark where it never came. And so was Death. A discarnate voice in an empty room. A whisper uttered by the six. Calling my name. And I felt it, only, I had not. And death never was. Though I had hoped.
I remained. I was... Alive. Gone though, far from my... "self." Absent, but, accounted for. Empty. Where I do not wish to know the "I." The one that fills the void. It is not me. It never will. "I" … Exist. Simply that. Or what I consider as much.
And existing - I waded through the swells. And on my shoulder I carried their onus. Blistered by sessilia, trenches dragged into the cold iron by the rocks of this unrelenting bed of sea and sand. Stealed from the cathead. Of a ship I cannot remember. And in turn, cannot remember me. One day perhaps. When scuttled...it sinks. Here. Down here. Where there are no rainbows, no angels, no clowns, only blackness. Filled with nightmares. Aberrant creatures. Vipers and dragons. Iridescent bodies lighting atramentous waves. Shining in the doldrums. Mine. My night sky. My moon. My stars.
The sky has never been so stygian.
for all time,
In this perpetual rhythm. Where no time passes. With no light. Or clocks. No seconds, to minutes, to hours, to days. Time. This, I do not have. Only steps. And I have taken many. Though the sands would never tell. And the weeds have long since forgotten that path. One never traveled. Swept away by the stroke of a current, swallowed in the beak of the ocean.
And how many steps have they taken? If they still? Or have I surpassed even their ghosts. Perhaps they too lie buried - beneath a rolling green sea. Marked with stone. Where they too will soon be forgotten.
Because in the end, we all will: by the loved, the hated...the damned. Swept away. The wind in our sails. Carrying us over the horizon. They will wave us goodbye. Recalling a fraction of our lives. Growing smaller and smaller. Over the years. They will make the choice. As we all must make a choice.
FN: * Herman Melville. Moby Dick; or The Whale, 111, 1851, ed.
AN: I've been wanting to attempt a Nautilus story for a while. So here's that attempt. I may continue it or it may just remain a quick one shot story _