By Jasmine Laws
Blurry black? Swelling patches of blue, green, brown? Can a colour be fuzzy? If I touched it would it be soft? Would it be softer than the edges of my eyelids, which seem to have a sharp prickled edge, making my eyes itchy even when closed? Can it be light even in the dark? Is seems bright when it’s dark, as though a vivid light is shielded by a thin cloth; the colour seeps through the pores of the blackness.
Am I alone? Why am I so alone? My body feels as though its wobbling and vibrating internally; I am afraid of being alone. I want the comfort of warmth from where I came. I don’t want to be alone. Where did I come from? Do I not have a mother? A father? Where are they? Why am I alone?
I need some air. I need some light.
There is something stopping me moving. Something somehow smooth, but yet, slightly rough like shaved sandpaper.
It must be fragile. I have broken through.
The flood of light pierces the front of my head: I am blinded. Pixelated and pigmented brown is all around, a million dots and colours sprinkled about – a dull glitter. Something sharp presses into my neck, but it breaks away as I stretch out my front flippers, heaving myself out of this white cage. A distant cascading crash of sound rings in my head, it’s a repetitive motion, almost hypnotic – I need to go to it.
There is movement around me. I am being knocked slightly and the transient ground beneath my flippers is moving and sinking. Pulling away, something else pull the ground next to me. As I sink down, I see I am not alone, there are others like me all around with their white enclosures fractured and left abandoned.
I want to escape. The roaring sound is echoing through my body. I’m compelled to go to it.
There is a brown wall before me. It seems to be made of the same flowing ground beneath me. How can I climb it when I sink into the ground? The repetitive drum beats the movement of each flipper I stab into the ground, levering myself up and up. I am about to reach the top, and go over, to face no man’s land.
As my head pokes above the top of this mountain I have climbed, I am hit by a force that makes my eyes begin to water and shakes every fibre in my body. The noise rings in my head, and creates a cacophony with the echo of the crashing rhythm. Once less disorientated I see a blue expanse laid out ahead. Is it alive? Why is it moving? Why are there intermittent breaths of white that appear before a crash? Is this the echo I long for? There is a bright light ahead, that has stained the blue below: swirls of orange and pink, and tinges of pale blue. I want to go to the light. It is guiding me to the blue vastness. I want to go to it.
In the peripheral vision of my left eye, I see something new.
My heart pounds in my throat, each pulsing beat shortening my breath and making me gasp for air. It looks like danger; it is tainted red, but also the hue of the ground. Is it safe? Its skin looks fluffy, is red a soft colour? Or is it a trap, to trick you into feeling safe, when it is a threat?
It is running for one of the others. One of me is in its mouth. I am not safe. I must go.
Suddenly I am stuck down, slapped by a salty embrace. Tossed up the beach in refutation: feeling limp and unstable. Have I been rejected? Is this not where I am meant to be? Have I been intercepted by that fearful red? The dangerous soft red. Am I in its paws, being lifted to its mouth? Why is the brown above me and the pale blue, orange light below me? Does the ground change colour? I must escape. This is wrong.
Squirming, I wriggle back onto my belly, feeling warmth beat down on my shell and into my back. I am not being eaten. I am alive. The red is nowhere to be seen. I must escape.
Another force hits me, but I grab the ground with my flippers. I am able to balance. What is this liquid? Why does it hit me like a force and then shatter and disappear into nothing but a white froth? It is like the saliva from the jaws of the red creature. Why is it so powerful when it strikes me, and so welcoming as it tugs me closer after each hit? Each outward breath blows me away, while each inward breath sucks me in.
I am being pulled closer, gathered up, tugged underneath the fist that beats down on the ground behind me. This strange body of liquid is rising higher around, its salt tingling on my body, and its soft coolness stroking against my skin.
I am submerged.
Am I floating? Am I flying? My flippers were cumbersome on the brown, but powerful in the blue. Everything is blue, and not brown. Ahead of me, there are streaks of light piercing into the murky blue, highlighting tiny freckles of grit swaying in the rhythm. I feel so peaceful, rocking, lulled by the repetitive breath of blue. There is an ache deep in my stomach. Why does it make me want to eat something? I must find food.
There is a tug at my back flipper, perhaps it is caught in the twisting melee of green. I am being engulfed, as I wave my front flipper against the liquid to turn myself around, to break my back flipper free.
It is white. Why is not green? Why is it not like the swaying branches around me. It has no tendrils, no arms; it does not dance in the same harmless way. The rocking pull does not seem to affect this white shape; it holds its own shape. It is in control.
I cannot get free. In the motion around me, I am shoved closer to it. There is white coming all around me. It is light. I cannot move my back flippers; they have been tangled and twisted around the white shape. It feels smooth, but it does not follow the outline of my body like the green figures, it catches me, and ties me in a knot.
There is white all around me. I need some air. I try to push up, to break the surface to breathe. But there is only white, no blue. Where is up? How do I get there?
The white is sticking to my body, clinging to my body until I cannot move. Where is the air? I need some air? Where is up? How do I get there?
Why is it so light? Why is it so white? How do I get there?
I need some air.
Image: Michio Morimoto on Flickr