Sunday, June 04, 2006
Alice rose from the dead this morning. She sat in the sun, ate the fruit of the Medjool and read Katherine Vaz’s novel Saudade. Do you dream in pink? She whispered to a haughty gull perched beside a stunned fisherman. The gull turned its head; her salty voice only made the bird more vigilant. Alice lowered a deep-sea mask over her face. Like the bird, she watched; she listened. She noticed that every city dweller had gathered on the shoreline. Hand visors shaded all eyes. Everyone remained quiet, waiting, searching. The sailor who had tasted the Soup of Sorrow was supposed to arrive home before evening to report, but the horizon remained blank. Alice cheered. Look! Is she the only one who can see him? He is coming home; I see colorful wounds marking his body. No one could hear her. When she cheered, bats tremble in the distant sea caves. She noticed that he looked confused. He took one look at the city and mistook it for an enormous fishing net. Alice watched him press his ship’s anchor to his chest until the anchor hung over his heart and lungs. He plunged. Oh Seafarer, have you forgotten your promise? Alice asked until she lost her voice to the waves. Then she swam out, found his empty ship, climbed aboard, navigated the ship’s library, and sat at the stern with a book propped on her knees. He had marked the page of Saudade where she left off. She read on, memorized the whole text. Centuries later, he surfaced looking like Moroccan pudding. He stood, reading over her shoulder for the next one hundred years. At last his fingers pressed gently the back of her neck, and he remembered everything.