I am the guest of a prince. I stay at his palace and share my room with two other talents. The three of us are unique and in demand. We are each 10 stories tall. We do what we do and what no one else does. Our limbs are a hike, folding path over glory. I wake up one morning and look out the window. An ocean has appeared. Its surface, 10 stories above me, the sun just arriving. A reef reaching towards me through clear blue water crystallized by morning's shimmer. A surface broken by shadows, underneath what appear to be cliffs. The ocean bottom, as deep as I am from the surface, 10 stories below. I am 10 stories above. 10 is where we meet. I look down. A horse is swimming into view. Its mane whipped by morning wind-water. The horse is alone for an instant. Free for a few kicks. Then a rider appears on its back. Instantly not free. The rider is a tourist on an underwater swimming tour, where the horse does all the swimming. I turn my head and see more enter the frame. 10 more. 10 signifying more than height, horse or story. Against the blue-green water, the ocean bottom is visible. Horse and rider float. 10 stories above me. In slow-motion, sounds like. But that's because storyteller remains in the story. They swim away. The water clears as if almost to disappear. My eyes adjust and see 10 surfer punks relaxing at the bottom of the ocean. They wear cut-off jeans and shorts. Some have t-shirts some don't. They are relaxing in chaise lounges on the bottom of the floor, getting sun tans through the crystal clear water. Every few seconds, one of them swims up to the surface for a gulp of air and swims back down. The scene is a constant yo-yoing of bodies going up and down. Swimming with hands to sides, long hair flowing behind, air bubbles tracing their destination. Up and down. Up and down. A hypnosis of breath and water. A reward at bottom and at top. A kind of water that lets this happen. A kind of animal doing what nothing else can.
Copyright © 2010 by Edwin Torres. Used with permission of the author.