I remember my first voyage into the eye of a storm.
It began as an inbred curiosity, the sort of thing you repress until it feels like if you don’t venture out, you might as well shrivel into nothing. I untied myself from the dock, and let the waves carry me out to where I thought I might be meant to be.
I could taste the purple storm building on the horizon with familiar bitterness, clouding around me until I was roped into an inevitable disaster. At that point there was nothing left to do but brave the colossal walls that threatened to sink me. What I perceived then as bravery was really a naive kind of stupidity. I had ignored the cries of the shore, the weight of the anchor, the birds calling overhead. Instead, I closed my eyes and listened to the song that pulled me further and further into the whirlpool until, really, it was inescapable.
The song of the sea filled me with everything I craved – a feminine vulnerability, a hollow gratification that sewed my chest together with slimy seaweed. I ignored the world crashing around me, the spray of the salt water that pierced my skin like needles. All to join the siren in her melancholy song.
It became an addiction. The sea didn’t need to claim my body, because it already had my heart and soul caged at the bottom of the ocean. The siren barely needed to whisper for me to drop everything and seek the satisfaction she could give me. I was obsessed. In a morbid way, I felt like I had married her, a contract I knew would only break in heartbreak.
The sea swallowed me and spat me out again and again, until finally, I was inexplicably stranded. I was alone, with no one but the sea and her song. I continued to sing along, and submerged myself into her depths. I sunk, deeper and deeper, and convinced myself that at this point, all that was left of my commitment was to drown.
Then the clouds parted just for a second, and the voice of reason pierced me wholly. Reason tossed me a compass, and demanded I notice the direction I was headed.
I noticed that I was heading into a downward spiral.
Feebly, I began to kick, to flail. I opened my mouth and screamed, my body growing icy in the gray water as I slashed. I reached out for the surface as I lost my sight, and darkness began to close around me.
Just then, a warm hand suddenly grabbed mine and pulled me out.
What I perceived then as bravery was really a naive kind of stupidity… I closed my eyes and listened to the song that pulled me further and further into the whirlpool until, really, it was inescapable. [ClickToTweet!]
I was resuscitated, my lungs expanded, and for the fist time, the harsh light of the sun hit my face. It burned so severely that I let out the most unearthly scream that could possibly rip from my frail soaked body.
The siren’s song fell silent. That was over a year ago.
Now, I look out to the sea with a strange kind of disdain. Her waves roll in and out, but it gives me no comfort, not anymore. No music rises from its depths. Instead, I only smell the salt. I can sense the dark depths, currents swirling and swallowing up all the light. It scared me for a while, but now its almost comical.
The hand that pulled me out of the sea is now firmly clasped around mine, thumb tracing circles on my palm. If the sea ever pulls at me again, if the siren’s song starts to leak back into my body, I can turn a deaf ear. For reassurance, I’ll even grab that hand. I haven’t felt the urge to venture out to sea again, and I know that even if I were to dip my feet in the water, I wouldn’t submerge myself.
I hum a familiar tune as I settle my head onto a shoulder, losing my eyes and basking in the warmth of the setting sun.