The tape ends. Fifty minutes of The Orb and Peter Murphy reverberate gently in my mind and mingle with the endless refrains of the ocean on the sand. All of the happily shrieking children have vacated the beach, as has that jackass who spent the afternoon bellowing into her cell phone. The gulls call back and forth, catching up on the details of each others' days. The air is warm now, no longer hot. A breeze has come up to cool my slow-cooked skin. Is Gertrude awake? Probably. She's probably still working through her book of word puzzles. She finds peace in ways that are completely foreign to me. She always has to be doing something; can't begin to understand where I am going right now. Pity. I'm almost there.
I have, with the help of my music and this perfect moment, arrived at the intersection of conscious and unconscious. I feel everything. I hear everything. I know only what I need to know, without all the commercials. I can smell and taste the sea air as I drift along. My brain entertains me with sensations of floating on water, then of flying, then of weightlessness. I continue to hear strains of music, cascading in cool waves of liquid sound. My mind takes some of what it has been listening to and gradually weaves those themes together with some of its own, creating new, perfect music. If I were awake, and trained in the science of music, I could write it down and share it. But no. I've got one foot in a dream and one in the warm sand. The symphony will be gone when I get back. For now, I let it play.
Voices. Two tiny voices are whispering, one in each ear. We have no image. We're just called the good friends. I've been joined by two little ghosts, and they want to tell me a story. Can it wait? I'm in the middle of a really great song. Okay. How can I decline? They're so polite. They sound English. I've never heard such proper speech in such miniature voices. They're like the kids in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, only not obnoxious. Go ahead, wee spirits. I love stories.
We call the madmen back, as they fly to the ant hills. I don't know if I'm picking up what you're laying down, little ones, but I could listen to your accents all day. We never know, we never know. We sleep in satin nights, throwing energy like bluebirds. In twilight. I don't get it. But I wouldn't dream of interrupting. I can't help but think the plot must be just around the corner.
We call to stillness, as we kiss the Water King's hand. We hear the one same name, as the darker the land gets. My storytellers start to draw pictures in the sand. I like the sound their fingers make as they push through the grains. The images are clear. I see two children in turn-of-the-century swimming suits. In one scene, they're making sandcastles. In the next, they're head-over-heels in the waves. Finally, they're angels floating above the sea. My heart breaks. They shoosh me, and hold my hands in theirs. We never know, we never know. We're fueling for the Light, cascading in the Rain. In twilight. They're still so young. Their energy fills me, warms my blood, calms me. They continue, taking turns.
Waiting for you - you look so close. We walk a thousand stairs. Aching for your hand, our love a distant voice. We have no image. We are light. I see adults. Crying. Praying. Lowering small empty caskets into the ground. I see the kids again, soaring in playful loop-the-loops above their parents, waving, giggling. They don't know they're dead. They only know they can fly, and that their parents don't seem to notice their endless play.
We are not asking - no favours from the dead. We wash with moonlit hands, on the shores of our island. We never know, we never know. We sleep in satin nights, throwing energy in silver curves. In twilight. In twilight.
They each kiss my cheek, then drift away together on the ocean breeze. And I am awake.