sea monsters/classroom lesson #1

Oh ho, ho, kiddies, this is when it gets tricky.

Something in him says, "Take this as a sign," and so he does.  Except that he is forgetting something very important.  He is supposed to take these things as a sign, except he forgets that not all the signs are for him.  Most of us do that when we are looking for signs, and that's why it's a terrible, vulnerable thing to be looking for signs, and we should remember that we need to look for signs always and know that they are not all for us, and most of them are probably not for us, but at best, they can be little guides to how we are supposed to be for a little while, in order to, in order to, in order to serve a purpose that is usually not for us, but for somebody else somewhere.

So when she appears to him, he is sure that she is there for him, and she might be real, or she might be an apparition come to torment him, but all the while, he forgets that he is really there for her, and he might be real, and he might be an apparition.

Most of the time we are apparitions to other people anyway, because we are there to represent something they want or need, and they put their wants and needs into us, which is a proper thing to do with an apparition.  And perhaps it is rather impolite to treat anyone like an apparition when one is not sure if they are real or a projection of the mind, except that everything and everyone is a projection of the mind, and it's very rare that any of us can escape that, even when we're trying to be very aware of how we concoct our own stories to suit our own narratives.

And if there was a way to make art that makes this known up front at the very beginning, then it might be interesting, or it might look like every other work of art out there (and not very interesting).  Because there are not very many interesting things out there, percentage-wise, so it's necessary to look at everything all at once as often as possible.

Somehow this all gets conflated when they are talking, and when they talk, this is what they say:

HE: I have been waiting for you.

SHE: You already said that, now tell me something interesting so I can know that I'm in the right place.

HE: It's you, you're the first girl I ever loved, or the last, I'm not sure if it matters, but I'm glad you're here, because I'm having a very weird time of it, trying to get from the end of the summer to the beginning of fall, and I would love nothing better than falling, because that's what fall is for.

SHE: But it's not fall yet, so I just want you to float there for awhile and answer some of my most pressing questions.

HE: Ask me, because I am yours.

SHE: Why am I here, what do I want, and where am I going?

HE: I'm sorry, I can't talk right now, I have to work out.

He works out.  And here, in the ocean, all he can do is swim some laps.  But this is the middle of the ocean, so he doesn't know where to start, or where to stop, so it is impossible to count.  And it takes a long time before he can decide whether or not he is done, and when he does stop, he is very unsatisfied with all of this, and he is wishing she would turn into someone else.

But she does turn into someone else, because we're always doing that.

HE: Please tell me a little bedtime story about how I visited you in Costa Rica, and you were a mermaid in the city, and you showed me your city, and I fell in love with the city, and when I fell in love with the city, I fell in love with you.

Ok, now this is a turning point.  Although we might know she is not from Costa Rica (we can tell because her accent is a little too specific to somewhere else, and her clothes have the marks of this somewhere else, subtle marks, sure, but we know because we've traveled and we're worldly, because we've traveled the worldly world.  And are in the process of crossing the seven seas (so far, the count is four).

But when he talks of love, she likes to think he is certainly referring to her and no one else, and that's delightful, and that's fiery, and that's so warm and romantic, that she is sucked into his salty breath and decides she can be from Costa Rica for awhile and he won't notice that she is not until something else happens, at which point she is hoping there will be something else to do.

Scene: Costa Rica.  Night.  Mermaids in the city.

HE: Your city inscribes on me before I even set my feet on the ground there.  You tell me there is a lack of history there, that the time before humans set their feet on the ground is more recent than anywhere, and that the real history belongs to the animals of the forest, and the things of the water, and I always thought that would be the place that I would feel most at home, becoming animal in other animal memories.  But you wrote me before I ever set foot there, and while I was being written, I was also writing you, because I didn't want to forget.

A scene in a cafe.

Begins with a camera on a table that captures only half a face, half a body, and inscriptions and signs that we cannot possibly see.


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