Posted in Original, Prose, Writing by netscheri on July 28, 2007

“…You will come to the Sirens who enchant all who come near them. If any one unwarily draws in too close and hears the singing of the Sirens…” – The Odyssey.

I remember there were three of them. It was the same, yet different every time; the same words and utterances of predefined ritual and ceremony, the same process, and every time my heart was ice. One of them I even knew as a friend, but even that did not stay my hand.He was the first. I heard the knock on the door of my apartment and thought nothing of it as I went to open it. But as soon as I did, I understood. I held the door open, wide open, to allow him passage. We didn’t speak, I’m don’t know if we would have been able to. His skin, when our hands briefly touched, was as cold as ice, as cold as my executioner’s mask. I can’t remember what we did before the water, shapes had started blurring into each other; I was too frozen to realize anything, but instinct must have guided my movements, my words or un-words. These are our laws, this is how we survive. At some point, both of us stood up, a kind of synchronization, a step in a dance.He walked. I followed.Water, water. For birth, for the ocean that we all come from. I remember that at that time I could see our reflections in the piano. The ritual, if it could be called that, began. It is nameless, it is timeless, a relentless machine that consumed me, consumed him. We became the queen and the pawn. The pawn standing before his queen while the enemy scuttles, besieging. The pawn standing before the queen, prepared to bow, willing to fall.

His eyes were kind, so kind. I can’t remember if there were any other emotions in them. I suppose I was looking for some kind of helplessness or anger.

-You are aware of what will happen? Torn. He took one of my hands, wet from the water. I am not even sure who it was that I said it, or did I say that to all three? Kindness where it was least expected…the ice was chipping, breaking, crumbling. But it was still ice that fell: cold, hard ice.

I met the second at an airport. He was a pilot. He was dressed in his uniform: navy blue, badges, and the white hat, looking very crisp and professional. I had just come back from visiting family. There was a newspaper in my hand and blood in my heart.

That was the first time, and I still had hope. But I know now that even then, in my deepest blackest soul, I knew what had happened to the first, torn nameless at the first touch of water.

We talked, the pilot and I. Almost normally, as if we were just friends having a cup of tea. I don’t normally drink tea.
-You are aware of what will happen next? As if they were my sin, I didn’t want to admit the result of his actions, the end product created by the machine. I still didn’t want to believe.
-Shhh. It’s ready now, if you will. I think he was still dressed in his pilot uniform.

I played duets with the pianist, Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata, Schubert, and some others. I can’t remember how many times we played the Moonlight Sonata, but it seemed that we were playing it over and over, over and over again in a never-ending cycle.

The same question, three times. I wished, like candles on a birthday cake, that I could speak. I would shout, to him who I had not taken a name for the water to devour – for by then I had already learned how to strip the least away. I would shout at him to run. But I could not be and he did not run. not set the wheels of the machine in motion, because for every wheel that turns, there is a consequence and a price.

-The water is run. The top of the taps, gleaming white, were gold-embossed. Everything in the bathroom was white, gold, and shining, sparkling clean. The water was cool, and strangely enough, my skin was burning.

The river is dark. The water is fast.

I spread my arms out, and raise myself on my toes. The Moonlight Sonata is running through my head as I fall in a great parody of the ritual, returning back to the water, returning back to birth.

“It isn’t the morality, it is how much you can bear.” I read that once on a summer’s morning. Before.

I would like to think that I look beautiful as I fall, and for those who care about those details of the human emotions; no, it was not love for those half-known, half-lost figures that drives me to this. Say that this when I can bear it no more; call it altruism, if you must put a name to everything. What a strange idiosyncrasy of this world that I still think that I have to prove my actions, and myself, even now.


Commentary: I wrote this a few years ago, and am almost embarrassed to claim it as mine. There are places where I feel it’s discordant and somewhat amateur, but I still like the basis of the story, and am hoping to improve and develop it further. The inspiration for this came from a dream (nothing Freudian, please), and if I had to say what the themes are, they would be free will, sacrifice and choice.

Feedback would be extremely welcome.


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