Carlito and Marco propel their strong, youthful bodies like penguins through animating waters of the yellow sea. Gliding along the satiny silt of a continental shelf, they swim holding hands in the aura of golden ocean dust. Separating hands momentarily, they play a game of tag in the midst of a silver cloud of small crustaceans. The men dive deeper into cooler water. Belly first, they glide along an underwater slope as children riding sleighs on fluffy snow. Underwater volcanos spitting violet lava tickle their toes. Dark blue clouds of sediment rise as the mermen part their arms like eagles and kick their legs for propulsion. They send thoughts to one another and speak a language of love.
Back on the shore, along barren stretches of sand, their friends stand wrapped in the robes that Carlito made in his tailor shop. Villagers search the sands for memories that sometimes wash ashore. Like shells that hold the sound of the sea, tiny bubble boxes of memories of the minds of men line the continental shelf, a mile or so offshore from pristine sands. Marco is like a tornado in the water, stirring up the memory bubbles, causing some to float back to shore. He seduces Carlito by performing an underwater ballet, creating an orchestra sound by simply thinking of harmonies and swimming in circles around Carlito who floats in the water, feeling like a virgin, waiting to be touched.
Those on the beach sing chants when the bubbles start to wash- up on the purple sands. They’ll carve castles in the sand and monuments of Marco and Carlito, showing their appreciation. They’ll sing in praise as the bounties of the seas of purgatory are combed.
Afer the swimmers are out of view, land dwellers will devour the boxes. A few will become intoxicated and toss themselves into the rivers of repentance. Most never return from the seas. The never ending currents are a seduction, often too strong to come out of. Most never become whole and learn to live on both land and sea. Those who never return from the waters become like seashells; holding the sound of the sea.
The memory boxes are why most choose to remain on land with not much to do. They cannot imagine a life as fish. They prefer to remain fishermen attached to their addictions. Memories. Not wanting to let them go. Afraid of living in truth.
The divers stir the static sea, causing more boxes to wash to the shore. Afraid to jump in and fearful that the waters will pull them away from paradise, villagers watch, holding hands, as Carlito and Marco leap from beneath the water. Like sword fish yanked on invisible lines, the men appear in the distance and splash the surface of the tranquil waters, flipping in the air in unison, kissing mid-way, like acrobats in a sea circus.
Joining in consciousness and ready to explore more of the lives they have lived, Carlito and Marco swim far away from shore and out of view of those who remain behind waiting for bubbles.
They watch as if waiting for an answer. The splash of their lovemaking dissipates on the edge of a distant maroon horizon. They vanish momentarily from the surface of the placid waters.
Carlito and Marco return to the surface for one last view of an expansive, brandy sky. They return to the glasslike surface of the sea like rainbow trout jumping for flies. The men who speak with their minds are gone for now. Stillness returns to the sea. Those on the shore start to sing again. More bubbles float ashore.