There is a great sea. It might be all that is left, it might not, but that would certainly make for a more dramatic story. Upon this sea floats many vessels, most all of them the size of fishing boats, the kind you row with two oars while your buddy casts a line off the side. But there are no oars on these boats–there is no need for oars, because the sea is packed so full of vessels that there is not an inch on either side to row even if a person wanted to. No, these boats are their homes: a single person inhabits each boat–no less, and rarely more–nestled closely with their floating neighbors, packed tightly into a grid-locked soup, together, but very much alone. It is up to each person to determine how many of their personal possessions they wish to carry along with them just above sea level. Some have found their greatest, heaviest treasures too difficult to part with; it was often this lust for material wealth which capsized their very homes. The others, the wiser, kept their possessions to a change of clothes and a few bits of sentimental value. Occasionally amongst this sea-faring colony there would be an outbreak, a mild pandemonium. For whatever reason–an angry hornet, a hungry reach for a neighbor’s fish-cabob, a simple turn in one’s sleep–and the chain of events snowballed, spread like fingers across the bobbing homesteads. For every action an equal reaction. One person would tumble into their neighbor’s boat, forcing that person to hop onto the next boat lest the both of them would sink. Sometimes it would happen; a pause in the chain just long enough that someone’s recently invaded boat would fill with water and sink down, down, carrying with it those few objects of personal worth (family photographs, a novelty keychain, a hair pin). The freshly sunken boat’s inhabitant would have no choice but to hop into another neighboring boat, forcing them from theirs. In this way the pattern continues indefinitely, though never in the same place for terribly long, which leads the floating nomads to doubt the inconvenience of it all. It’s simply the way things are. There is a great sea. There is a great sea-sickness.
Tuesday, September 4th, 2007