Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Pearl

Seven days passed as I drifted along the bottom of the river. There was seaweed down there. I got tangled in it; it dragged me down. The town I died in is close to the ocean. I think I was on my way there when they fished me out.

The seaweed was like rotted lace on something sewn by an unknown great-great-grandmother. Out of the water it would feel slimy, but in the river it felt soft, even as it trapped me.

There was also algae, green dust on the rocks and the river floor. My fingertips grazed it. Sometimes the flow slowed; dust gathered on me, coated my bare arms and face, settled in my hair. Then a current would come and nudge me along, and the particles would scatter in a confetti cloud. My eyes were open so I could see this.

It was beautiful to me in an eerie, distant way. I no longer needed to breathe, so it didn't bother me when my lungs filled with water. I felt calm. On clear nights I looked up at the moon, a rippling pearl above the surface of the water.

I could no longer speak or move, so there was nothing I could do when I saw the boat bottom come toward me, part the waves, disrupt my tranquility. Or when I saw the net drop into the water and felt its web envelop me.

I lay limp like a doll as the web lifted me up into the dry still world above. I heard the commotion, saw the police and TV-news cameras on the dock, felt the harsh sun blaring down on everything.

And I felt angry. I had gone down willingly, and was on my way to the sea. They buried me in dark motionless earth, and that is when I truly died.

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