• Vol. 02
  • Chapter 10

The beach

A thousand echoes, cliché as it is: that is what you've left me with. Dark cove, dunes like sifted flour. Shells that whir, that long to speak but are muted by fear and confusion. They witnessed it all.

The wiser of the animals frown their disapproval but don't wish to involve themselves in the dirtiness of humans. The otters float, eyes raised in quiet exasperation, the whales mutter their annoyance and the accident of size amplifies their voices, gives them strength and importance they perhaps wouldn't have chosen. The octopus long ago sighed and propelled itself away. It had seen enough of this type of thing.

Only the dolphins are confused. They like humans, it is hard-wired into their brains. We sped by perhaps those same ones in our boat and you reached out and touched one's head. I said not to, you jeered at me, told me I was pathetic and a tree-hugger. I watched your mouth open and shut. Lips wide and pink like slugs, spit over teeth. The black hole beyond. Why do we speak? I thought then, as I do now. No good ever comes of speaking.

So now I am silent, I am wise and I share with you the secret I have learnt. Speaking with our mouths only is useless. Completely. Its is surplus to requirements. What we need to communicate is our voice, yes, but that voice that comes from within, the note carefully tailored by the universe, by the dunes, by the sand and sea, by things smarter than us.


The beach

I myself do not trust my own mouth in any capacity. I, like the shells, am mute. But not from fear. By choice, and from the sharp, uncomfortable wisdom I have gained. It is best to stay quiet. Keep that useless, slug-lined dark hole of mine shut.

Speak only with my hands, the one part of me I still trust myself to control. Sometimes I invite the universe in and those times are like seeing the northern lights, such is the rapture. I can't tell you about those times; they are not secret but they are not tellable in words either. Mainly, I work these strings myself, with nothing but my own strength and what I have to say. I am like the whale. I produce beautiful sounds, all on my own. See? There's still some things I can do.