With Carlito and Marco swimming in the sea, a pale, rusty sky sprinkled with woolly clouds emerges. Paradise fades as the mermen re-enter their kingdom.
If the mermen return from the waters, the land will become like heaven again. For now, Carlito and Marco are like buoys floating in an underwater dimension of endless possibilities. The sky turns dismal. On shore, where gravity is still a reality, a down trodden sensation overwhelms those who chose to remain. Emotions harden. Hope is shattered. Regret is all there is to feast upon. Cries of fear fill the village and the beaches. It is too late to choose to swim into the lights of the sea now. They will wait and hope that the men of the sea return. Carlito and the glow to life he brings here suddenly vanishes. He is swimming in yesterday with Marco again. They are eternally in love but here, the air turns dry and the hope of moist love is lost.
Far at the edges of continental drifts where the floor of the ocean comes into view, Carlito and his lover dive deep into the Holovakia Abyss; an almost endless trench with a cavern at the very bottom which leads to the birthplace of life itself. It is a doorway to consciousness and an entrance to the place where every dream that has been dreamed is stored safely away– The Light. For those who remain in the darkness of self- preservation like land dwellers, the off- shore, underwater caves are untouchable. The sacred passageways dangle on the horizon like plankton before the mouth of a hungry seahorse caught in the tide.
The Holovakia Trench is a passageway to yesterday; a chance to experience life again, only this time, free of pain and sorrow. Changing the past is the only way to escape the insane isle of purgatory. Many dive into the ocean, following the splashes of the mermen who take with them hope itself. Like so many before, most will never be seen walking the white cobblestone streets of the village again. Pieces of those who jumped in will likely wash ashore like bubbles in the surf. Those who cannot swim become as sacrificial lambs, offering their very souls and the dreams they have made as nourishment for those who go on.
The still waters of the abyss are agitated as the men make their way to the light inside the caverns. The tranquil seas stir once again, causing the core of the universal ocean to tremble. The veil of mercy is pierced as they swim into what is like the belly button of the time. Carlito and Marco gently glide through the caves, trying to prevent as much disruption as possible. They gently make their way through the underwater paradise. Marco holds Carlito just above his buttocks and kicks his legs like a frog. Carltio turns to kiss him and enjoys the sensation of gliding along effortlessly in the mysterious waters. He feels as if he were a baby being transported by a stork.
Those on land feel the quake and realize the gods have departed purgatory again. Carlito tries not to think of his friends trapped in paradise. He begs Marco to enter him once again. The sensation of orgasm– it never ends as long as Marco is inside. It goes on and on– the constant pounding and release from within. Sex itself seems eternal when making it with Marco. Carlito can only imagine what they are moving past as his eyes are closed and he is tossed like a piece of flesh being devoured by hungry sharks under the control of Marco’s strong lovemaking acts. Their emotions stir the waters of the sea again. More bubbles that hold the dreams of forgotten men wash on shore back on the island of forever. Carlito realizes by now, most of what ends up on the beaches back there will perish in the hot sun but he begs for more love from Marco, no matter what the cost.
Marco pulls out, still throbbing with intention, yet knowing that they are almost there. In the silence of the water, Carlito hears their cries. They are as schools of herring being devoured by a whale, far away in the ocean of plenty. He thinks of the clothing that he has made that will protect them. The wool of the garments is strong and he sews with double stitching. Eventually he will have to return to help them, but for now, he is like a fish and not a seamstress. Marco brushes his thick, black hair that moves like seaweed across Carlito’s back– a sign that he wants him to submit again. Carlito arches his back, and they move as one through the strong currents that surround the entrance to the light– a whirlpool of pure bliss.
Stalactites glow like candles within the sea caves. The radiation of the limestone fixtures is caused by the light of the dreams hidden just ahead within the core of the Holovakia Trench. Behind the fang-like cave stone, human consciousness has collected in pools of bliss. It burns in what is like a giant god urn at the bottom of the sea.
Two turns left and one right along the expansive passageways will take them there. As dust floating through the cosmos, Carlito and Marco swim fearlessly into the dream scape. Others come and go, to and from the sacred caverns of magical thinking. They are the few who have sprouted in the garden of eternity– seedlings in the Age of Aquarius.
Here in purgatory, a time of uneasiness, paranoia, racing thoughts will begin again. Constant worry is on the way. The cycles of mermen are like that of redwood trees. The pleasant soothing shade of Carlito is never in one place like that of the ancient trees though. He comes and goes like the wind. Grandeur follows wherever he roams. Goodness surrounds him. Even a god can be in just one place at one time. Sleep and rest fade as the last of the bubbles from the sea are collected. Change will come and hunger will set in again. Never is there a guarantee that Carlito and Marco will come back here. The dreams of those who have perished remain trapped as bubbles far off- shore, along the cliffs of a continental shelf, perhaps they will never be experienced again. A time of fasting has begun. The tide has gone out. The men who move the bubbles are gone for now.
The singing ends. Animals of the land rush to the water’s edge– a stampede of nature. Those who chose not to enter the sea head inland and face the charge of the animals. It seems that every living thing senses what is ahead– heavy dust clouds from the purple sands of the sea will gather in the claws of strong, offshore winds. The oceans are alive and angry over the bubbles that it has lost to man. These are they days of drought. Only after Carlito returns from the sea and sits down to sew at his ancient machine will the time of worry come to an end. He loves Marco with all his heart, he says, and never makes promises to the clientele who come into his tailor shop when it is open for business when they come seeking more clothing. They beg him to live among them forever, but Carlito makes not promises. Villagers learn to appreciate the few moments of eternity they have with Carlito when a god chooses to sew instead of swim.
“Your garment will be ready in time,” is the only promise he makes to villagers who open the stained glass door of the little stone shop nestled on a cliff on the northern tip of the Isle of Oceana. They ring a golden bell that sits next to an ancient cash register that never has held money. He stops the needle on his machine from moving by ceasing the rhythm in his toes.
“May I help you?”
They come inside to do business with the tailor who speaks not with his mouth but with his thoughts. His beautiful, lush, red lips are like gills when he is on land breathing in what is not air. He is an excellent writer, but no longer chooses to use the blackboard walls of his home and shop to communicate with his patrons. Writing serves no purpose outside of life. He chooses to no longer draft messages to those who come to visit him when he is back in his home and tailor shop. Pieces of chalk hang from the ceiling on long, thin pieces of hand woven string. Carlito never writes on the walls of his shop to communicate as he once had done when he first arrived in Hell to open a tailor shop.
The sensation of standing inside of Carlito’s place overwhelms most, but many have learned to trust Carlito and come into the shop to speak their minds and to ask him questions about the meaning of life, the belief in the light, and the temptations of the seas….
Carlito cuts his thoughts off from them when he senses they have listened to enough and he goes back to his sewing, ignoring their pleas to understand more about whether hope exists for them in the sea. There is only so much sewing one tailor can do.
“The garment I am making now is for someone special. The dreams that it will give the owner will be pleasant ones. I do not know if this will be your robe. I will hang it outside when I am finished and it will call its owner. That is all I can say to you for now. Good day,” Carlito softly whispers into the consciousness of those placing orders with the tailor of purgatory.
The heavens fade from a dreamlike state. Burning ultraviolet rays of a dying sun afflict from above. The ocean turns choppy and brown. Sand searchers untie knitted belts that match their garments and pull over the hoods that Carlito carefully made as part of their robes. Hundreds run from the edges of the sea, carrying with them what oracles they manage to salvage under their soft garments, out of the destructive rays of the angry sun. Those who became overly intoxicated by the jelly-like sea bubbles jump into the water, abandoning their wool robes and love for the land. In delusional ecstasy, they swim away, in search of Carlito and Marco and the path they are on. They hope to become as fish in the sea, just like the mermaid gods.
Those who choose to endure the land crawl up a grassy hillside. They must return to their village lined with pearl cobblestones and await Carlito’s return. The sea no longer calls to them.
The last of the bubbles that washed up on shore are placed in glass Mason jars, preserved for later consumption, just as the village tailor had advised.
Often, the writing on the slate stone on the door of Carlito’s tailor shop reads neither ‘open’ or ‘closed’. The slate remains blank, the writing of the words “out to lunch” have vanished over time. Villagers wait for him to return and write the words “OPEN” again on the sign that hangs on the door of his shop. They watch for the candle light to appear in his cozy little hut from their marble dwellings in the valley below. They wait for the sound of chalk to strike a blackboard.
In purgatory, it is never certain when Carlito will awake from the land of dreams and swim up the Holovakia Trench to return to his life as a tailor in hell. They can only hope that in their own memories– within their past, they will recognize Carlito and Marco and convince them to come back to them to reality– to purgatory– where there is no escape, but to dream again.