Where the Water Goes

If my feet are on the ground, am I grounded?

If I’m on a boat am I then flying?

These fish are flying which is why I won’t catch them. They laugh at me, but I couldn’t hurt a fish. They are too precious. They have a life as good as mine.

What makes a life good? Is it the air we breath, the blood that flows through our veins? The things we spend our time on? Those we spend our time with? Can those make a life bad? Or can only you do that?

I have to make a living somehow and I like seeing the fish, their smiling faces, so I work on this boat. I clean the halls, wash the dishes. At night I stand on the deck and watch for the fish. I can’t see them, but I think they are there. I sing to them because they need someone to keep them company through the long night. The others are asleep, not around to laugh. My flying voice meets these flying fish. And we rock through the night.

Every night it goes like this. I suffer through the day until the night comes and the fish feel safe. They know I won’t catch them. I can never see them, but I can hear them down below, churning the water. Why couldn’t fish dance the same as us?

I think about the land sometimes, but I have nowhere to go. No money, like I said. Besides I think the fish find comfort in me.

I’ve worked on the boat for many seasons, but tonight was the first night the boat touched ground. When I came out of my cabin the ocean was gone. We had soared all the way to the floor of the sea. I saw the fish and the seaweed and the corral, but there was no water. I sang like I always do.

A large fish flew to me and began to speak to me. He wondered if I didn’t want to join him where no one talked and everyone smiled. He said that I was the only one who ever cared for the fish. He opened his mouth for me to climb in. He was large, and I fit nicely. And the water came back, and the boat lifted up with the waves once again, only I was down below. From my new home I could sing all day. But there was no ground to stand on.

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