He sets out.
That’s how it happens, it’s nothing surprising, it’s how things were leading, but it was absolutely astonishing to him when he found himself no longer on the land, and floating out to sea.
The very best thing about floating out to sea is that it doesn’t take very long to get there. In fact, it happens right away.
He might take this as a good sign, that this happens right away, but it’s really just based on physics, nothing very mystical (perhaps there is no mysticism at all, just physics that we don’t understand yet), it would always happen right away for anyone anywhere who did the same thing. Not to get eaten by a sea monster right away is really better, in the realm of signs, because it’s much more of an unknown, a possibility.
Which he could go ahead and take as a good sign, but it’s not, because he doesn’t avoid getting eaten by sea monsters. It happens almost right away, in fact.
But not the first night, which is sort of fortunate. The whole first night is one of restless anticipation of what is going to happen next, And for the first time in a very long time, he doesn’t go to sleep thinking about what was lost. He doesn’t even sleep really, restlessly thinking about what he might find.
The things he brought with him are lost on the first night, eaten by sharks, and he’s left with nothing, and this is very pleasing to him, and makes him not want to sleep even more, and when the sun comes up he is dazzled by the possibilities of this new day. It feels like a rebirth.
And when he is thinking about breakfast (he never thinks about breakfast), he is eaten by the first sea monster (he is always eaten by sea monsters).
He is not swallowed whole, which would be convenient, but instead is bitten into pieces and swallowed in pieces, and he’s in the belly, in pieces. It’s not the first time, and far from the last, and he is used to it by now so much that he does what he always does whenever he is torn to bits, he thinks about horses.
Horses made of marble, horses made of colored glass, horses made of porcelain and covered with real horse hair, real horses made of flesh, covered with beads of colored glass. The first horse of the mind is not the worst horse, and certainly not the last horse, but the one horse to be reckoned with, because its teeth are filled with blood and hair, and its eyes are wild, and it has nothing good to offer that would be useful for survival, except words that might come in handy later.
“On the day before the first day, you will lose everything that you hold dear, and on the first day you will lose all the things you thought you could live without, and the next day is so much worse than any of them that there are very few who ever survive the panic that precedes the next day.”
Like it happens, like it always happens, he is put back together inside the stomach of the beast, and inside the stomach he must spend a day getting well, and he is forced to watch the films he was putting off until later, projected on the side of the belly of the sea monster, projected from the inside.
The first film is about a marriage that didn’t last, and the film is a collection of excerpts of all their arguments, always those bits and sequences and segments where he was arguing for something he wanted very much, but forgot what he was saying while he was saying it, so he said other words that just popped into his head and made everybody arguing very, very confused. We all have trouble with words.
The second film is about a love that dies, and the film is a short excerpt of their last conversation, where he lost the thread, and wanted to keep talking but knew he would say something that popped into his head that had nothing to do with what he wanted, and it would be confusing, so he was silent, and it ended. We all get to learn from our mistakes, even if this learning doesn’t get us very far.
The third film is about a love that never got born, and the film is a long montage about the first woman he ever loved, but nothing that ever happened, it was the thoughts they had about each other before it even started, and when the film is over, he is left with this image of the one he wanted before he ever had one, and that image is the one he always looks for all of his life, and the worst part, the very worst part, is that when he first had the image in his head, he knew he would look for her and never find her his entire life, and that would be the one thread that remained in all of his loves and losses. We all have beautiful, stupid things in our heads.
HE: You would think that people would sleep together in my movies, but I suppose the inside of a sea monster is not a good place to show porn.
Why not? It’s as good a place as any. But that’s not up to us.
The fourth film, which is our least favorite by far, is the one where he and this recurring her are in a room, wishing they could be together but there is a large box of wooden swords on fire between them, and they can’t get close enough to touch, and they spend 8 hours not talking about the swords. That’s how love goes when we take our inner freedom out and make a decision to remain in chains, and no one ever recognizes that’s what’s happening until we are all much older and that room is gone forever, and we never get to test our theory that the fire was always something in ourselves, and the best thing would be to take a chance on getting burned alive, because that’s what some of us want deep down, that’s what some of us keep looking for.
We have lots of scars underneath our clothes and they age so beautifully.
8 hours is a long movie, and we are beginning to suspect that this sea monster is one of the worst kinds of artists in the world, that it might not even matter if the work is good, it’s too long and we’re forced to watch it, and then later, the sea monster will ask us what we thought, and when we start to answer, the sea monster will interrupt and tell us more than we ever wanted to know, and that part will take longer than the movie, and all we will be thinking about is that something in our lives has been lost and we’ll never get it back and we’ll hate that fucking sea monster, but we have to be nice because it knows someone important in the industry who can help us eventually.