Sitting side by side seemed too far. So, to the cool floor I moved, to the space between your feet. Quite instantly your body reacted to mine, a twitch followed by a folding. You closed around me, strong legs that already knew me pulled themselves inwards. You bent over to whisper in my ear, “Thank you for sharing this with me”. The words fell like an envelope closing around a letter heavy with confessions.
You knew I needed to hear those words. You knew the significance of what had shifted since the last time I had sat before this person and had listened to them sing. There had been a continental drift. They came from the Isle of Wight and carried the whole of the sea in their voice. It was clear to us all, nature spoke through this siren, their lungs and tongue were just borrowed for the time being.
Eleven months had dissolved into what we call the past since I had last heard the siren sing. Nearly a year ago I had sat alone in a crowd, quaking from the voice of the sea. It sliced through my pain for the length of an exhale. A fleeting interrupt to my anxiety which had become more of a companion than my husband.
A dependent daily scenario was my goodnight ritual. Returning late, feeling the lock heavy in the door, two turns meant the apartment was empty, the bed was empty, and I would take one more swig of whiskey, I would fall asleep drunk, I would not wake for his return and I would not look to the cold light of my phone to know the hour.
The loss of his love, his response to my masked resentment, ate a hole in my stomach. I could have easily hated a woman if he was fucking her. He was not though, rather he was addicted to work itself. Work fulfilled him more than his wife, and he indulged in it. The brutality of fourteen hours in a kitchen, full of men and impatience and pressure was his worth and his delight. I could have stabbed a woman in her back, turned the knife and watched her beauty bleed out of veins, but the kitchen he worked in was full of knives and I was out numbered. We had failed each other.
The sea sung to me that night eleven months ago. Its waves pounding my body, and I gave up. I gave in, I would leave my husband. I let out my breath and sunk to the bottom of the ocean floor. Deadly still and almost silent, a great weight held me down. Looking up I saw the surface raging. Such an incredible contrast existed. My feet pushed off the ancient sea floor, pushed off of millions of creatures long dead and turned to nutrient rich muck. By some shaman means their ugliness gifted me an energy and I was propelled upwards toward that boundary line. I broke the surface and filled my lungs with an air that was not sweet, but was indeed truthful in its pungency.
Between your legs I breath in the sound and smell of the sea. We call each other meteors. What we thought was our life was in actuality a collision course. We did not know the violence, and the pain, and the chaos which had to ensue so that two bits of planetary rock might find a common gravity. Up until that evening was all just preparation, so that when we came into one another's proximity, we would recognize the pull, we would give into natural law, shed ego and fear and learned norms, and allow our orbit to create itself. “Joy is joy is joy” you wrote on the last page of my book, and with that you returned me to myself.