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Hold onto the Waters
A Short Story aligned with the perspective of MusicBecomesMuse
Briefly, briefly, this was a striking piece for myself because the piece of music in question, does not presume to tell the ethos of the story that tumbled onto the page.
Note, this one, is a serious topic, not for the faint of eyes or heart.
Also, as the subtitle doesn’t suggest, this is a continuation of the previous concept of NotesBecomeWorlds, but the concept has evolved to MusicBecomesMuse. I will explain these concepts plainer one day, for the moment they are figuring themselves out. I will add however, someone mentioned the idea of Music Becoming the Muse recently and the framing feels correct.
So, let us move on to the piece.
The artist, singer, rapper is Stormzy. The music that led this piece was Give It To The Water featuring Debbie and Jacob Collier from his This Is What I Mean album. It may be wiser to listen to the piece prior or following, because there are lyrics. They can be a distraction, or if you can silence them while you read, all the better. Here is the Instrumental Version but the lyrics did have some impact on what I saw/wrote unlike the previous Olafur Arnalds Piece which was a composition of instruments only.
I hold on to the waters.
I’m over, under, between the waves. They carry me. The heavens pull me to the surface but my heaven is beneath. Water falls from the sky, a fog accompanies it. Water caresses my back, seeping into my ears, my brain, eyes, I can see the cycle of the world from here, at the wave’s horizon.
I’ve never been able to sink. My heaven is below, under the waves, why can’t you let me plummet.
People paddle out of the water around me. Rain. I see them as if from above, moving through waves without fins or tails, many screech toward the shoreline, others watch from low hung beach umbrellas gathering their belongings as they cut their eyes toward an odd person in the centre of the waves. Lifeless. Dreaming. They’ll do nothing, I know. He’s just resting, they say. In the rain? He's relaxing. No look, he isn’t breathing, they’ll assume.
The wounds on my body are wrapped in tattoos. Protecting veins that failed to flow. Not enough water. I must be the only person forced to breathe air. Slow blood, slow heart. A symptom. A prison. As though the heavens want to keep me here. For what reason if not to suffer. I can’t, anymore.
I hold onto the waters.
Melo and Nemo swim beside. I’m sat. Sitting at the base of our pond. It isn’t deep enough. They swim around unperturbed. The water is murky and growing murkier now that I’m open. The bath didn’t seem right. Mum would find me in her dressing gown laughing in the hallway, knocking the door with a tune as she enters rudely, she’d scream leaping from the door frame toward my descending body. I’d spring to life, the mucky water seeping back into my veins. No. The pond is better.
There’s a chill but my veins are warm. Melo is silver, Nemo maroon, no, gold, swimming through the rust. A blackness begins to silhouette them as they open and close their mouths. Their eyes as slick as their bodies. They slither around my body like eels caressing my end. They pause their movement as more of me enters their world. Their warm blooded master, submerging, in their abode. They begin to circle me again quicker, light waves begin to form around me, smaller and smaller until they tire. They become frantic wading through the red dirty ink. Fog tumbles from above, but no rain. No rain. I waited for this day, and no rain still.
A window opens. I look up and out. I don’t answer. The laugh tumbles from the window into the pond and jerks my body as Nemo and Melo flap their fins tickling my faded senses. Cold. My arms are cold. Melo, Nemo, offer their fins in healing, but I say no, bye. The laughter pauses, it drowns, the window remains open as the scream travels down the house and out the back door. I can see the door open but I’m lost to the silhouette of the gods. The gods. The fog. The water. I hold onto the water. My body is being dragged. Tumble tumble tumble. Deeper. Deeper. Deeper. I lay, falling into a soothing rest.
I hold onto the waters.
No! Someone is speaking. My arms are wrapped, my tongue dead. I’ve seen this before, a nightmare manifested. No. No one was meant to be home. No hospitals were meant to come. I hate them. I hold onto the water. I close my eyes and slip into an unconscious dream of how it was meant to be. Slipping sinking into a mystical world of blue. Blue. Wave upon wave of quiet. Peace.
No. How can I, continue. Con-tin-ue. Con. Tin. Ue. The word, is too heavy. To continue. To live. Be alive. No. To end. To lie. These are short. Sweet. Quick. Easy. Life springs from a painful fountain. I’m tired. Too tired.
He’s lucky, they say, his blood is thicker, his heart beats slower.
Lucky? So lucky I can’t end this loneliness. Where did the fog go? The walls are grey. The window bleak. But no fog. Autumn framed. A picture, not Monet, lilies or river.
Monitor him, they say. Mon-i-tor. No. I’d rather be gone. I’d rather be, breathless. Empty. Hold. Hold. Hold. Hold his hands they say, hold him still they say. His legs, they shout. Hold him down! Rest my love. Relax. Relax. Mum?
Beep. Beep. Beep. I don’t want to relax. I want to end. Breathe. Water. Fog. I need to get back to the water. Water to water. Mist fell from the sky that day. I waited for it.
I hold onto the waters
Beep. Beep. Beep. Let the water fill this place. I see waves crash into the building. The walls crumble. A whirlpool, my own Nemo and Melo swimming with giant fins, waves come. I’m lifted from the hospital bed, a whirlpool of waves, no breath, just water, no sound, an echo of silence. Water bleeding into my lungs. Exit breath. Exit life.
I hold onto the waters.
Finally. I waited for this day. Today. I made it out. I’d been trapped for so long. The nurses knew my intentions. They knew people like me they said. They saved people, they said. No. The water saves. I know how they think, they believed I was saved but people don’t change. He never got the chance. I won’t change.
Good behaviour is a false sense of security. I made it to the water. Today. This water, keeps me floating, the fog keeps the sky floating. A year, I waited to return to the water. No more bolted doors, barred beds, medication cups, flat mattresses, laceless shoes, tongueless sleep.
My tattoos are bandages, they look odd under the fog, wet, I peel them off, they’re tight. I lay, flat. The water swallows the world I knew. I can wait until the last of the paddlers and cacklers are gone. They’re having fun running from the rain. Fun. I haven’t known fun since he was killed. Sunk. I’d rather, lay, than lie, in life.
How long until they leave, so I can leave.
Rain turns to fog and falls over all. There is no beach to see in the mist.
They’re gone. I can go.
I’m coming. To meet in our heaven below, friend, to tell you I’m sorry.
Thank you for reading thus far although this was a shorter one…
The content, if you caught onto what this was fulfilling… is tough to speak of, to think on, but it is around us and affects us as a species. We can only do our best to support one another and protect one another from ourselves if we can. We can only do our best.
I will write an accompanying piece to this which will follow in a day or so. I’ll aim to interpret what the music is actually about also, if I may, because the message of the song, I am certain, is brighter than what I experienced writing this piece.
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