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Chapter 1:- Here I am

Red afternoon clouds with edges fading to pink, hung still in an azure sky. I could feel a gentile wind arriving in random gusts cooling the humidity off the waters surface. I may have drifted off to sleep out here. I had been keeping my chest full and body buoyant in a Zen-breathing practice, floating on my back with closed eyes - dreaming while awake, if you can get there. I hadn't reached the astral plane quite yet though. I'd been listening lazily to the unreal world of the under-water bubble sounds. They had lulled me into this drift. I was a boat with no rudder.

Something was wrong with my life. It wasn't any one specific element, it was a collection. Together they added up, and normally at peace I found myself exploring ways of removing those forces of stress one by one. Floating away, becoming lost to the sea, wouldn't be a horrible ending but I wasn't actually preparing in any way to end my life. I only wanted to ease and detach with precision those items that we have been trained to respond to, since birth, those systems that our modern society has us react to.

It weighed on my spirit, or soul if you prefer, and many friends that I was close to did not comprehend my strange need for relief. There was so much resistance when in conversations with them. Nearly all of the discussions ended with me stating that theres a better way, that is not so taxing to myself. So here I am, thousands of miles away from the properly named rat race. I didn't need to travel this far - but I figured that it was a trial run, so why not explore the limits of remoteness?

flutter in the air
random flight yellow wings. Free
an office window

Opening my eyes I righted myself, remembering that I left my surfboard unattended on the beach. I had wandered up and down the coastline in search of waves, the ocean here, resembled a massive turquoise lake with patches of glass-like stillness. Where I treaded now, it felt around twenty-four celsius, and below my feet I felt a colder layer but it was still comfortably warm. My boat docked on this island only three hours ago and I checked into a little, older motel. I slept for an hour there, then got up though tired, I was just too excited and wanted to get into the water that I had seen from the plane early this morning. I wore black cotton board shorts that reached to my knees and were decorated with small half inch-sized patterns of red Hibiscus.

 I looked across the mirror of water to the white sand beach where my surfboard still lay. Beyond it was a dense cropping of deep green palm trees and bush shading all that was inland.

As I treaded in the water I stared into the distance. A long ways across the white sand shoreline, there was a lone figure that walked from a hut to the water and then back again. A girl, thin in build, and her hair was a bit wavy, and short just reaching her chin. She wore a plain light blue top that looked somewhat like a '50s style bikini, retro in design, with wide straps hanging down her back. She sported a type of gray cargo shorts that hung low on her hips - the pants reaching only halfway down her thighs. Her skin was seemingly tanned slightly to a lighter brown. And on her head was what I believed is called a Biltmore, a tan, straw hat, with a light green cloth on the inner rim. The hat seemed to suit her, to complete her.

She stopped in mid-stride and looked in my direction. Her hands shielded her eyes from the sun. I believe she only spied my surfboard laying in the sand because she continued immediately to walk up to the hut. Then she was gone.

I waved my arms in a relaxed stroke. 

It's quite surreal to be in this bathtub temperature ocean water. I look west and see a few small islands that I feel an urge to swim to, or at least paddle to on my rented board, but I was told they are vacant by the constantly smiling boy at the rental shop. Sometimes I felt as if I we're being laughed at. His grin never seemed to get old though. He said the shores over there were not different than the ones I am on now, just nobody there.

The inhabited main island curved outwards, forming a natural bay where a quaint little seasonal town with all kinds of little stores were painted lime green with white trim. The town had grown over the centuries. Small buildings and shops, all perfectly laid there, along a snow white beach with palm trees uniformly planted, and those were parallel to a blue painted cobble stone path that stretched along the shoreline. At the very south end there was also a port with repair buildings and such.

All the way at the other end of the island is where I am now. Maybe a hundred yards across the ocean, there was a sister island, less than half the size. They said there are dangerous cats on them. By cats I guess they meant tigers? I don't believe a tiger could survive on so little game there, so I didn't believe it in any case. A sea bird calls out somewhere in the sky overhead. It descends slowly on warm air, it's wings tilting, then it skids gracefully to a resting position on the water about thirty yards out from me with a head tilting this way and that, searching for fish.

I stroked slowly toward the shore enjoying the feeling of the sea flowing past my body. It made me smile. And I could see something coming into view, under the water, only a few yards away. I had a slight startle there, until I recognized the shape. A sea turtle just paddling along. It's brown shell, head, and flippers, all spotted with tiny white dots. A few white patches of barnacles were attached, it's pattern interesting, like half of a yin yang symbol. I swam alongside it, keeping a safe distance of course. We travelled together, two content spirits, nothing more, in our strange vessels, in such an accommodating seascape. I wondered what thoughts it may have of me if any. It did not seem to be afraid at all I noted. The turtle finally veered away and downward, heading to what looked like a large gathering of underwater rocks.

I had a thirst for water or a type of juice. That would be nice right now. I had left my phone back at the hotel and I had no idea nor cared really what time it was. I had to remind myself it didn't matter here. They cannot control me here. Back there I needed to break from the career, that college indoctrinated carrot chasing thing.

My toes slid across the sand floor and in moments I was out of the sea. I stood for a moment in waist high water. My feet slowly sinking into the sand. It was an odd feeling, It had me now, those imaginary invisible hands, touching my bare feet. Looking down into the shallow water, the white ash sand bounced tiny flashes of diamonds with a criss crossing of reflective shadows from the tiny waves. In that moment I froze there, just staring down at those colors. Looking up and all the way to the ocean's horizon there were hues of dark blue skies fading to light blue, and then into a bright shimmering turquoise that dominated the calm sea.

I pulled out each sinking foot and made my way up the gradual bank onto white sand. The palms near the jungles edge swayed in a magical gust of warm wind, a long shh gesturing at me to remain silent. A society of tiny birds, three or four dozen in all, with pretty blue tipped wings hopped from one tree to the next undecided on where to hold a town meeting. I stood next to my unused surfboard. The beach was as vacant as it had been since I got here earlier. I will walk inland then, and pick up the board later.

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