Turquoise Transcendence



The sand crunched in protest under his feet as he walked. The sun beat cruelly on his brow, calling forth new beads of sweat to replace those rolling down his cheeks and into his shirt. The dry wind smothered his clean shaved face with a veritable tempest of dust and sand that precipitated on the sweat, serving to dull and age the man’s visage.
The scorching heat had bent his lean frame; his knees trembled with every step he took towards the ocean. A complete picture of exhaustion, he stumbled every now and then, teetering precipitously like a drunken ballerina. Yet, with an indomitable will, he kept pushing one foot in front of the other, leaving a trail of awkward footsteps that were soon lost amongst the others’ on the crowded beach.

He paused as he reached the shoreline and gazed at the horizon, staring with a great longing in his eyes as the sky lost itself in the ocean’s embrace. He peered into the Rolex on his arm: it was nearing 2 pm. The lunch break would be over soon. It would take him at least 20 minutes to make his way back to the office, the conference was scheduled for 2.30. He gave a dry rasp of a laugh, his body quaking at the effort, and took a step forward.

He undid the clasp of his watch, shook it off his arm, and tossed it casually into the sand. With a few well-practiced movements with his feet, his shoes and his socks joined his watch in the sand, both glittering equally brightly in the sun. A few of the revelers on the beach paused and took a moment to observe this impeccably dressed young man walking steadily towards the water as if in a trance. As they watched, the man shrugged off his blazer and let it cascade off his back and fall to the ground with easy grace.

A shiver ran up his spine as a wave licked his bare feet. He took another step and paused, holding up his palms to his eyes. The platinum band reigning on his perfectly manicured right ring finger caught the sun’s rays and sent them piercing into his eyes, reminding him of the significance of its existence. He tugged it off his finger and set it to rest on his palm, considering it. He knew in a matter of moments that it was futile. He had been a fool to have allowed it in the first place. As the waves sent tendrils that wrapped themselves around his ankles and pulled him ever closer to the bottomless sea, he knew for certain that his soul belonged to another. With a heavy heart, he tossed the ring back to dry land where it was swallowed whole by the voracious sandy bank.

His burden now reduced substantially, he continued to make his way forward. He could feel the heat of the world behind him stripping away as he answered the siren’s call that sounded from somewhere far beyond the horizon and at the same time from somewhere deep within his soul. He quickened his pace as he felt the ocean embrace him like a long lost lover, filling him with a warmth the blazing sun could never compete with.

As he felt the pain coursing through his body seep into the pacifying waters, he knelt and planted his palms onto the welcomingly soft sand. A few onlookers on the beach shouted out to him, their voices lost in a rush of incoherency. He could hear the ring in the sand calling out to him in a beautifully familiar, feminine voice. But none of this could drown out the beguiling melody in his ears, getting louder with every passing second as he crawled on all fours steadily to the place where it had all began for him, his head hanging loosely, betraying not the slightest hint of an emotion.

And when crawling did not give him the pleasure he sought, he lowered his body into the sand and propelled himself forward by rhythmically twisting his body in the water, not unlike a snake or a worm, and then settling for a lazy breast-stroke once the water was too deep. He carried on in this way till he was satisfied with the distance between him and the shoreline. He floated freely and looked up defiantly towards the sun one last time, filled his lungs with air, turned his head and dived into the water.

With a sudden display of strength and energy, he used his legs to propel himself as deep into the ocean as he could, his eyes shut tightly. The music sounded loudly in his ears, in spite of the water muffling his ears. When his legs could not carry him any further, he stopped all attempts to move and held his position in the water. He opened his eyes.

Darkness.

As his eyes slowly adapted to this new challenge, he began to make out vague shapes in the dark purple haze around him. The first thought that struck him was that it was remarkably empty. The few fish could make out were miles away from him and from each other. He could see a few branches of seaweed, scattered throughout the abyss, reaching upward foolishly for the sun. The space he occupied was free from any interference: it was completely his own, save for the icy warmth of the water cocooning him.

A feeling of elation surged through him. He opened his mouth and loosed a laugh borne of pure ecstasy, laughing louder than he could ever remember laughing. Bubbles of air escaped his lungs and coalesced to form larger units that bounded towards the surface. The water rushed in to fill the void left in him. His face was lit with pleasure as the weight of the water filling him pulled him deeper, closer to the source of the music filling his ears than ever before.

As his chest burned with the futile strain of keeping him alive, his mind grew peaceful. He had found what he was looking for, what he had missed all his life. He was no longer a creature laboring and sweating to serve his fellows, he was not a symbiote depending on others for survival, bound to the rigid rules and conventions imposed upon all of his species; he was part of something much, much greater. He was one with the ocean, he was one with the universe; he could feel its every pulse, every whim, every ebb and flow of life for they flowed through him. As his vision faded to black, he could see every pinprick of life populating this world struggling futilely against their ultimate destiny, fighting desperately to overcome the grip of the chaos he had welcomed with open arms. He smiled faintly as he drifted lower into the endless, comforting belly of the ocean.

His body floated back up a few days later and was noticed by the coast-guard who was on the lookout. He found him drifting peacefully, half a hundred miles away from the shore, a beatific smile gracing his face. He was cold despite the unchanging ravages of the sun. His body rose and fell with the tide; a marionette with his strings cut off, free forevermore.