Tiki Meets Gigajoy the Whale
The men cast their lines even though it’s too dark to see fish. Tiki admires the one wearing a floppy red hat. “I especially like that he bit off his bait. He has huge teeth.”
The clock tower sings 23 chimes, then six chimes, then eight.
From the patio I see between the buildings onto the beach. There is nothing but the tracks of dogs. “Do dogs like the ocean?” “I have no idea. What dogs? The fishermen are more interesting.” I am gloomy. “Water dogs,” I reply.
The sun set directly west from the patio and has me remembering another sunset directly west. “I don’t remember another time in my entire life when I’ve seen the sunset directly west meaning I’ve never in my entire life been anywhere I remember being directly south.” I say this aloud and to myself because I know it will annoy Tiki. “You are looking out over the south most place you’ve ever been. And I’m telling you that right below on the beach there is an old man biting his fishing line. And P.S. There are no ‘water dogs’.” My pretending all the time vexes her. En serio. Telling the difference between magic and reality is my one super power. Tiki hates me for it.
Me: “He’s not going to catch anything. He fishes there out of habit.”
Eleven chimes, then two. The sunshine and sunset, the sound of waves, the absence of noise, and the calm outside… Make me sad. Not for want, not for having… I remember lifetimes of times, perfect moments with him, her, that, them, those things, that other stuff, and situations, scenarios, and so on, and moments when I surely had everything I ever wanted and it hurt. Because everything I want feels on me like sunburned skin, pretty the first day then peeling like an onion all the rest of the days until nothing remains except the in between tears.
I’m comfortably lost in my self-not-not-head when much later Tiki accuses me of being lazy and unimaginative. I cannot see her, but I feel her smoldering purple judgement-pyre. I smell burnt hair and….
Tiki: “Look stupid, he’s caught a whale!”
There is a bluesilver slippery handful of a whale. The whale’s name is Gigajoy. It has a good sense of humor. I know this because Gigajoy has a rachous laugh. He wakes up the toothy fisherman and challenges him to a duel. Gigajoy will win any duel using any weapon. The whale swims back and forth in water just deep enough for the fisherman and Gigajoy to feel equally confident. Suddenly, the sea stills as if an all-powerful fist clinched it into a freeze frame. Gigajoy breaches. He finds me on the patio. His eyes are purple with life and love. They glow in recognition of me and of death. I am the last thing they will every see.
Tiki lets out a euphoric yelp.
“Why do you always get sad every time you get everything you want?”