- Vol. 04
- Chapter 08
You see, I’m not the beauty you fantasised about, you idiots who know nothing about the sea. But what did you expect? You haul me out of my element in a net, just as I’m dreaming myself into being. You drive me all the way to London along one of your ill-kept roads in one of your draughty smelly coaches and you expect my dugs not to shrivel and droop. You stop for refreshment and a change of horses and you leave me stuck in my net on the floor, exposed to your putrid waste, and you expect my silken hair to stay on my head. You couldn’t even be bothered to fill a barrel with seaweed for me to travel in, so interested were you in filling your own barrel-bellies with wine. And now you stick me in a bell jar without a drop of salt water. You’ve got me standing on my tail for ever and the bell jar’s on wheels, for goodness sake. How would you feel if your air was replaced with water and you had to stand on your knees for the rest of your life in a rocking chair? Without breathing? See what I mean? But you’re not listening. Clearly. You haven’t listened to me once. I’m in a constant state of scream but you just sit there smoking your cigars and drinking your coffee and saying I’m not as beautiful as you’d imagined. But see what my hand’s doing? Between my left hand and my ear is a shell. My screams have been heard. The ones who are coming are bringing water. There’s an unimaginable amount of it and it’s not for drinking.