Scifi Sunday’s presents “the first whispered word”

August 22, 2010 at 6:52 pm | Posted in spiritual rantings | Leave a comment

A long time ago, when the world was naked, and all that was, were the deep sea life that ruled the air and the heights, I met my friend- my closest  friend. He was a water eel named Slither, though the things then had no names, I gave him one, just to make frequent conversation a little less of a hassle. slither was proud of his scales and the speed he owned in the water. His reflection was golden and you could hear his call rolling miles away. It took him a day once just to gather up the nerve to let himself down from his rocks. He was proud and knew the golden sunshine wouldnt strike his back if he lay back down in the water with me. So he waited all day till night came and that’s when he jumped. I never knew an eel could jump and so high too. He could jump to the top of the sky, and he owned wherever he could reach. The phrase seems uncommon around these parts; a jumping eel. Back then we had no phrases or names. Just slither and jump. And something that came out of my mouth one morning.

“Psssst!   Slither was unimpressed. That’s just because he was jealous and prideful; he was an eel in the water, so he couldn’t say things like me. I had those ruby slippers on, that tied themselves when you didn’t feel like it – they bounced on water like lily pads. Slither rode me on his back some hours afterward. I would lie there and he would swim for another rock to conquer. I had dreams that I was on a dirt mound, even though in those days we had no dirt. I had those dreams and often thought about someone whispering in my ear, thinking I was he and he was I.  And he’d tell me a secret. Though we didn’t have secrets in those days.

I couldn’t breath underwater; that’s mostly what slither could do that I couldn’t. He was quicker in the ocean than I. This made him act all the more big, electrifying. I had a big heart so I let him slide. He asked me not to say the new word that came out my mouth in the mornings. He said it irritated him. Yet slithering eels didn’t say things in those days, I just knew what he was thinking from the way he looked at the water as he swam with me on his back. I had just woken up from the secret sharing dream, and thus my body did something that felt all too natural and unstoppable. I had tried not to let slither hear it those past few days, so as not to hurt his pride. Yet that day, I felt if I didnt I might never be able to take another breath. I breathed in deep and then my lungs belted out, great and loud, “pssst!”

“Hmpf,” thought Slither, “That’s it.”

He swam furiously to some far away rocks. Farther than I’d ever been. They were isolated amidst the deep blue. Slither frowned back at me and flipped me off his back and swam away. He swam underwater, as if to cleanse himself from my weight. He popped up every so often; for he couldn’t exactly breathe underwater, just hold his breath for that long.

I sat there on the rocks after floating up and down in the water, watching the eel slither and race towards the horizon. The sun shined golden on my back. Yes, Slither had given that up – one pride for another. Yet no one could control either of those things. The sun shined on me just as it did on him. Yet he felt he deserved it more. And I pssst just as naturally as he swam, yet he wanted it all with me left speechless adrift, near some rocks far away from his own so no one could hear me. He could tell himself that the pssst didnt exist. That my red shoes didn’t tie themselves and that dreams about telling secrets never occur, and if they did were of no great importance. He could keep his pride because all the whales and sea life had nothing to spout. He was on the rocks in the sunshine. He swam the fastest. Slither, with no friends, had no one to make him feel like less of a watery eel. And he took to the dust, because he could not say pssst, in the water, he had to crawl on his belly in the dust.

I got irritated on those stupid rocks in the middle of nowhere. I remembered Slither waiting all day so the sunshine got all of him – not the other way around. I remembered him jumping and how that was a word, even though we didn’t have vocabulary or the alphabet back in those days. I bet if Slither could spell jump, or sunshine or even rocks, he’d spell it just like this and in this punctuation too, though we didn’t have punctuation back in those days of my ruby slippers and the prideful watery eel- he’d spell it all like this: Pssst.

But pssst. He wouldn’t notate or spell or punctuate ‘pssst’ like that. Not psst. Because as far as he was concerned, there was no such thing as that new word that came by way of my mouth one morning. He wouldn’t think of it at all. He’d just smile because now he could slowly forget, and think himself golden again.

I got off those rocks. Remember my shoes, how they bounced on the water like lily pads? They took me far to a place where all the water came from. I walked until my feet could touch the lower end of the ocean and some how everyone found land. All the whales were on the beaches now, forming hind legs and fingers to hold tobacco pipes. The sea life took to the air. All the watersnails that used to lose all the races had a fiery sugary strut. It was long and indulging and it looked quicker than sap. Most of the fish had legs to go along with their cursive stingers. There came birds and dinosaurs and furry mosquitoes.
Though the golden eel, slither, was no longer apt in the water. In fact I don’t believe anything was anymore. Everything hurried along now on the shore with a new dynamic, that the sea seemed like a roadway with a 10 car highway wreck right threw it, slowing down traffic, though we didn’t have traffic or roadways back in those days.

Slither tried the land. He stepped into the dirt and the sand and the leaves. The watersnails passed him by with their fiery sugar slide struts they would do. He was embarrassed. He could not be fast anymore. He was the slowest thing on land.

“The watery eel, the golden eel,” the snails teased, (the snails couldn’t really talk, back in those days) “has no more a gift of sunshine. He has lost his quickness of speed and pride.” So Slither sat back up on the rocks. He told himself all was still golden. He didn’t dare let many more know of his secret. He never moved from his mount, so the reality of the thing was no longer engaged. He could continue spelling all words as ‘jump’. Though never pssst.

I forgave Slither for abandoning me, and I didn’t tease him  for anything. I guess he just kept thinking things were the same. He never moved, so he never showed his flaws, at least not out in the open. Never did a man have a body like a watery eel, or swim like a torrent. We left him a reason to feel it. Though never did a slithering eel have the treat of dreaming and waking up and having a secret to share, free a new word into morning. I needed no rush or hurry for the sun’s grace, or for that secret to know me. That is where my pssst had come from. There was a dawning deep inside, and that is why I had awoken. This is why I feel golden.

The watery eel took to the land because he sacrificed feeling golden, so he could whisper ‘pssst.’

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