La Mer Douce
the fresh water sea
La Mer Douce
I saw lights… in the end it was all I could do to see at all. They were blinding, yet there was no heat from it, not like the sun… but an almost white, golden glow….
I sat in front of my laptop staring at the screen. The words had not come to me. I felt full of heavy weight. I couldn't get to the thought that freed up a plot for the story I was intent on writing. My deadline was hours away.If I missed it, I'd take it as a personal failure. I am my own worst critic alright. For what is a writer who can not find it in him/her to write.
About two weeks or so ago the most present thought in my mind was HIM.. I'd written off plights of fancy many times and his melancholy demeanor towards me sent my ego into a rage often. Yet he stayed on my mind despite my efforts to remove him. Now, it's true.. It's entirely possible that a part of me did not actually want to let someone who paced my thoughts go… Someone I wanted without a shadow of a doubt. It's true that I could cut all ties, erase all messages, pictures, videos… all correspondence, all traces of him would be gone. But, it's never quite that simple is it?
“Am I a good writer?” All I managed to get onto the screen. In about a month this question is all I could think of. Haunting me like it knows I feel the answer is clear in my lack of words on screen. Bills are coming, debt is accumulating, my stomach is swelling from stresses I keep to myself. Not to mention in days there had been no effort to contact me on his part. Well honestly how could he?… The attempt to make peace with the loss of someone who only days ago stated he loved me… “There is no permanence in anything is there?…” I said this out loud and the candle on my coffee table began to flicker. This too was an attempt to inspire me to write. Shut out all the noise, all the fluff and live in my thoughts. I just needed to tell a story of love, loss, heartbreak, cruelty… Something that was real. Something that came from the hallowing feeling of my own descent into disbelief. An idea blanketed any further thought.. I'll go to the cabin. A good friend of mine offered the use of his cabin for times such as these when I could not seem to get out of my own head. I'll take nothing but my charger, some tea bags, water and change of clothes… well my toothbrush as well… who can think with questionable breath? I smiled amused by my own brand of humor. “This will be good” , I looked at my watch.. I had 7 hours to turn in my work… or it will have all been for not…..
Packing was more complicated than I thought so it rounded off approximately an hour before I got out of the door. In the interim I’d contacted Steve and asked him to meet me at the property which would take me about an hour's drive to get to.. I'd have four hours, five if I shot for being right at the deadline but four was the goal. Hopefully Steve knew I wasn't going to be any kind of conversationalist and went on his way after he let me in the cabin. From what I could tell the cabin was on a body of water known as Lake Huron. I'd never heard of it, which isn't surprising seeing as how I rarely left the city or paid much attention to things outside my immediate realm. I however love water, water and trees and to my delight there would be both. My thoughts started to get away from me and I said sternly, “Amirrah!!, this trip is to write, please focus.” The need to talk myself into staying on task with this particular assignment, was unnerving.. I didnt generally have these kinds of issues but the writer's block I was experiencing was rare. I'd beat this though… Like I always did.
Pulling up to the cabin I saw that all the lights were already on. Steve understood his role in this and I'd have to send him a bottle of scotch or something when I was all neatly packed away on this. Walking up the short staircase to the house I heard him approaching the door. The cabin was built up on pillars.. I guess this area experienced floods sometimes. Smart.. I reached for the door knob and Steve opened the door. “Hey you!” , “ I’m just on my way out, I already know not to disturb you, coffee pots on and the pumpkin spice syrup you like is in the fridge.” he smiled then helped me put my things down and walked out closing the door behind him. Okay so i'll need to send him scotch and a cigar maybe.. A cuban. I grabbed a mug, poured myself a cup of coffee and plopped down on the couch with my laptop in tow.
Nothing, absolutely nothing came to my mind as I sat there. I pictured his face over and over again. I picked up my phone going into the blocked messages hoping to see some sign of life… Nothing. Running my hands through my hair I got up. Maybe some fresh air would help get the juices flowing. Grabbing my sweater and cell, I headed for the door. While I was driving in, I noticed there was this big willow like tree down by the water.. That looked like a good place to quiet my mind. The stars are brighter than they ever are in the city. It is rather beautiful out. The tree seemed to take up root right at the edge of the water.. I dont think I've ever seen that either. Tonight would be the night of many firsts it seemed. First time I missed a deadline being at the top of that list.
The water looked black in the darkness. It was all I could do to keep from walking into it. Perhaps if I did submerge myself I would release the burden empty yet plagued thought had placed on me. There was a spider web that caught the light of the moon. Centered in the web was a large spider with its legs splayed. My heart fell open looking at it… Spiders to a fly were deadly, so this predatory creature and its link to danger settled me somehow. The blackness of the water, the age the tree wore on its woven trunk, the complexity of the web that this creature laid splayed in… Just like that… the words came. But as I turned to walk away a reflection in the water caught my eye. Initially it was streaks of yellow almost as though someone spilled paint in the water. Then it took form…
The words all but poured out of me. You’d have thought my hands were on fire the way they moved across the keyboard. The story came to me suddenly and without pause. I was elated… the pressure with every stroke lessened in my head and not a moment too soon for the deadline was an hour off. Glancing at the clock I realized even at this pace I was cutting it close. The image of the woman floating in the water bore into my mind and I put aside the questioning. I just wrote.
Send… with five minutes to spare.. I jumped up and yelled, “THATS RIGHT!”, “Hell yeah” I did it.. I picked up my phone and called Steve. He picked up and I rushed, “Bro let's go get you a bottle of scotch man… I promise magic is in this place.” He laughed, “I’ll take you up on that.” I wondered how much of that he understood to be true. The woman on the water popped in my mind again and I said, “ Alright hurry back out here and we’ll go together. I have to do something first though.” he said, “see you in a few” he managed, right before i hung up. I picked up my sweater again and ran out the door.
She’s still there. Only this time she was an actual physical woman, standing by the tree where the spider web was earlier. “What happened to the spider?” I called out to her. A smile spread across her face. “Nature makes way for itself”... I didn't understand what she meant by that. “Who are you exactly?” silence. “No one of consequence I'm sure.” She walked closer to the water. “Do you know Steve?” she sort of chuckled.. “No, I don't believe I do.” What she had on, now that I was so close to her and could really see, was not unlike something I used to see in Hindi movies. Not exactly the same though and in her right hand she held a mirror. It wasn't a pocket mirror or a makeup mirror. It was a full fledged old school hand mirror. Like the ones you'd see princesses have next to a comb and brush on a vanity. Why in god's name would she just be walking around with that? She had no bag, no phone, no nothing but that mirror. “May I ask, what are you doing here then?” , “YOU” she shot back. As though the question was asinine. “You required assistance, no?” Had she read my mind? How the hell did she know anything about me? Before I could open my mouth she continued, “ The story was there my love, you just needed help opening yourself up to it. Tell you what, how about we agree… as long as you always appreciate and acknowledge me, your life and every little thing in it will always be prosperous.” This was absurd, how can she even make such a claim. “How would I go about that considering you won't even tell me who you are?” I said smugly. “Well, I have quite a few names but most call me Yemeya, Osun, river Goddess.” Her eyes pierced me as she spoke, and the moment I considered she may be crazy I realized either she was VERY crazy or she was deathly serious.
Steve walked up from behind me, “Hey, you good? I was calling your name for like ten minutes” I turned to him, “uhh yeah my fault. You know I love water and trees so both in the same place had me temporarily zonked out.” he looked hesitant then he said, “ Yeah, I figured you’d appreciate it. Although I didn't think I'd find you out here at this time of night.”... I shrugged, “Let's go, I'm gonna come back though and get some more writing done if that's cool.” He nodded, “ Of course.”
A week felt like a day, I burned through page after to page of writing. When I finally got around to checking my phone I saw I’d gotten an email about my submission. My heart pounded in my chest and I really didn't want to open it up just yet. (Your life and every little thing in it will be prosperous) The words rang in my head and without hesitation i opened the email..
(CONGRATULATIONS!) I read nothing else before I dropped the phone. I immediately went to the window. Looking out at the water i didnt even see the tree I'd seen that night. Where the heck was the tree? Stepping back I almost tripped over my laptop's charging cord and there she was. Right in the damn living room. Had she meant to kill me she could have done so easily. Staring at me for some time … “I like sunflowers, honey, perfumes… remember this when you think of me. Remember this when you taste abundance.” The words hung in the air. “Okay”, ok... , it was all I could manage at the moment. I was completely taken aback. This woman had somehow stealthy entered the house and with no measure of misunderstanding alluding to having something to do with the email id received. I had nothing to say other than, “thank you.” I'm not an idiot. This woman was no crazy person, she was calculated and resound in her beliefs. I don't know who or what she was exactly but I was without a shadow of a doubt grateful if she had anything to do with what was happening. So, a sincere thank you is what I offered. Smiling, not unlike any other time she went to speak, “ I also love nature and all growing things… no need to look for me in specific places.” and with that, she was gone. As a writer, I can appreciate a flare for the dramatic but this was something else. I couldn't help but to chuckle.
I found in everything I did I remembered her name.. I need some low grade detective work via search engines and true enough there was a Goddess known as OSHUN. No one depiction was exactly like the other but there was a general gist for her appearance. The yellow and orange adornments were spot on and the mirror was definitely a thing for her. A part of me still thought I was being silly, that I drank too much coffee or something or went too many days without sleep. No matter, everything since the cabin escapade had been amazing. And today, today may be the day I sign my first book deal. Through my research I found that if I put some honey in some water with cinnamon with perfume it would be a gift to her. So I bought a brass bowl and every so often I'd do just that and leave it on my mantle in the living room. On my way out the door I looked back at where the bowl sat and said “Thank you”.
“Can you believe it's been five years since I signed my first book deal.” Pouring a glass of scotch (neat), Steve replied, “Hardly seems that long. Not for nothing A, you deserved it even before that. I’m just glad I got to watch it happen. Front row seats to the birth of a famous writer and all that.” he cracked a smile. For a moment I felt a tug like a soft nudge in me. As if I'd forgotten something or was missing something. Steve offered to refill my glass and the feeling disappeared. “Where’d you go just now?” he asked.. “ You know how I am, I'm in my own head more often than not. “ , “ahh, writer's brain, I get it, and since writers' brains paid for this scotch… feel free to check out any time you want.” We both started laughing…
Later that night I felt weird, Kinda sick like I'd eaten something bad.. Maybe the champagne and lack of food didn't settle well in my stomach. Nothing a cup of tea can't fix right. Peppermint tea generally always cured what ailed me. Walking into the kitchen I saw the flickering of a candle. “Did Steve light some candles before he left?” I said this out loud as though someone else were in the house. To rationalize it to myself more than anything. But why would he light a candle? More than one even? Coming up to where the flame was there wasn't even a candle. A steady burning flame in mid fucking air. I started to run and a loud booming voice said, “DID YOU FORGET ME?” it was so loud i wondered if the neighbors had heard and if so would they call someone to possibly help me. I still didn't see anyone and with that i turned to face the door and there she was. OSHUN. She wasn't smiling, she didn't look happy at all, she was downright scary. “What, what did I do?” voice quivering. “WHAT DIDN'T YOU DO WOULD BE A BETTER QUESTION” i ran for the door. As it swung open she was right there. Eyes burning tears streaming still somehow. “I gave you everything you wanted for nothing. How could you forsake me? “ I opened my mouth but was silenced by a single thrust of her hand around my throat. “You no longer have the privilege of addressing me, it is too late for words.”
Jumping up out of my sleep my laptop crashed to the floor… Coffee was all over me.The time read 12:00am. I'd been dreaming. I was still in the cabin, still in the same place I started… “ Wait, 12:00am.. FUCK!” I missed the deadline…...
About the Creator
writer, performer, poet, spoken word artist, painter, cook... Kinda all around artistic type.
For my entire life all Ive wanted to do is write and now i have a platform where i can indulge. Thanks vocal.
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