Talking Over an Ocean
"AHH!" I said. Not really said. Don't really "say" that kind of thing. I emoted. Now that I think about it, I don't know if I really did or just imagined. It was inside. It was still "emoted" because it was emotion, it was just inside "emoted" not outside "emoted." That's what dreams are, acting, but even when awake we're still acting, sometimes to ourselves. That's what it was. Inside acting.
I looked around the room because wow. I had been somewhere else for a bit. It was that kind of dream. But I was back here now. My body was back even though it hadn't left. I rubbed the back of my neck kind of sheepishly, because some dreams make you feel like you've been bamboozled. I mean when you wake up and think "I'm back" like you've been on a long journey, or "I have my body again" like you've been in a fake one for a while. Then I feel silly. "Got me again." That's all you can say.
Then I looked out the window, because it was there and because that's the kind of thing you're supposed to do when you first wake up. Getting my bearings. Looking at the water even though there was enough of it outside as well as in. But this was the only opportunity to look at the world through a window, where it could be contained, and I too being collected for the day. For the rest of the day I wouldn't look at it at all because there wouldn't be a window to look through. And just for a moment I felt like I was half in dream half in awake, looking at the water while in bed, as if the bed would submerge me, was coming up to my legs in dream and I was ready to go down again. I feel that way too when I'm leaving a hut through a door. Half in dream. Not as if I'm the one not fully awake. As if the world was dreaming, and simultaneously was the dream. Or maybe I'm the dream dreamt, the dreaming dream dreamed.
But like always it ended. Had to. I left my bed like disembarking a ship. I was getting that coy feeling like my body wasn't all there when it was. Like out of a dream it was coming and going. It wanted to be somewhere else. Weird dreams. Weird sleep. It happens. "Groggy." That's what they call it. I used to take my time about getting out of bed, but not anymore. Maybe I should have. I was annoyed, but you can't do anything about it and I told myself that. Then I wasn't annoyed, but I still wasn't in the room.
The first thing I noticed, because getting out of bed is just a race to see what thing I will notice today for no reason, and then notice I noticed, so I can notice it some more, was the note. I remembered writing it, but I did not remember being the one who wrote it. That's why you never write anything down, because when you read it again you think like someone else wrote it and so you never do what it says. It's worse than not doing anything. So when I read "Things to do today: Make flax!" that's the thing I'm not going to do. I mean the "!". I wouldn't be doing the "!" part of it, which is all of it, because that's why I wrote it. Why did I write it again? Like I said, I don't remember, even though I do, because I'm "groggy."
So groggy in fact I wasn't even sure about the "Make flax" part. I just walked passed the note, not even paying it any mind, and out the door, because it seemed like a good way to get started. It would be nice to get out of dream halfway, but even with sun I couldn't. My eyes just kind of sat there and sagged, and I stood there for a moment waiting for them to sit upright while the world was out. Being out here was like hanging suspended in the middle of a window, like an ornament, and someone else trying to look in on outside and me getting in the way. And me trying to look out on outside and my eyes getting in the way, hanging suspended in my head. (More like "lodged.") If I could hang them from a fishing wire and hang them ahead of me with fishing poles coming out of my head. (My sockets.) Tried to imagine that and saw my eyes dangling like twin suns bouncing back and forth while I walked down the path. (Left.)
Make flax. Make flax? Make flax make flax.
The world on either side was bouncing back and forth too with every step I took. Why do our eyes bounce around so much? Why can't they stand still even if the rest of us can't? It was very distracting and again I thought of dangling in a window. Of course everything was bouncing around anyway since we live on a floating village. Floating. Maybe I was floating rather than hanging. But supposing I was hanging, what would happen if someone cut whatever it was I was hanging on? Where would I go? Out of the world?
I was approaching an opening through a hut that to my eyes looked like just a big mound of green stuff. That was the problem I was having. You look at the same thing enough and eventually it looks like a big something composed of something, but this time was different, because I didn't even know why I was approaching the something, why I was entering the something, why I was here now and who
"Who are you?" I said asked. Blearily, as if bubbling up out of water or the substance of dreams. Blurry in sound form is what I must've sounded like. To her.
Her who made a sound like going up while going up. "Yelp." (Yell-up.) Then in the split instant, halfway through going up, turning around and looking at me all in one movement and all at once her eyes are there.
"Hahli Mata Nui you startled me" "!"s going all through. I admired her "!"s as one who observes untamed rahi like Kotu, because I couldn't do "!"s today.
I looked at her. I felt as if I was looking at her through a film of water, or as if the lense of my mask was the border of a whole world of water between us and her on the other side, otherworldly and distant. I waited for her to go on, because you can always count on people to go on if you wait for it.
"Thank Mata Nui you re awake I thought you were going to sleep all day did the storm keep you up last night" There was a "?" at the end there. It took me a moment to regard it like I was supposed to. It's so hard to keep up sometimes, listening to people "say," then you have to catch up and "say" too, plus it was extra hard today because "groggy" and talking over an ocean.
But for once I just ignored the "?". My question had just sort of run by or floated over her. It could've been that way, just a word that floated off after having been the product of a moment that floated off too, a question that wouldn't come again and all the same as normal. But I didn't want it to be that way, something just disappearing like that because people let it and effecting nothing. Why even exist in the first place? So like throwing a line into the water and catching the word as it floated, I deliberately reined it in.
"Who are you?" I "say" asked again. I didn't mean it as much this time. I knew who she was now. I just wanted to know how she would answer, studious and curious.
Sort of a pause like I was the untamed rahi. Not long enough. For what I wanted.
I could tell right way because
with all the "!"s you couldn't
I m Amaya
expect her to answer the way
someone who isn't "!" wants
must still be
Just how it goes
And then I laugh a bit just cause I can't help it. It's just so funny. Here I was waiting for Hahli to show up and wondering where she was, then in she comes, all sudden, looking like someone who just made it out of a shipwreck and with a mouth still half full of water she gurgles at me the most random question: "Hho are yuu?" like a total stranger. It's just so funny in a way.
Of course I don't blame her. With the storm that was going on last night it's only natural she'd feel under the weather this morning, especially after staying in bed for so long cause that just makes you sleepier somehow.
"Not that I blame you. That storm kept me up a bit myself."
She's rubbing the lense of her mask like to wipe something off. Probably she just can't see too well with her eyes all drowsy. I felt pretty lousy this morning too.
"Theer was a storm?" The one eye she doesn't have covered with her hand looks at me like with suspicion like I'm lying to her. I almost laugh a bit again.
"Blew out to sea this morning. I guess you must have lost some sleep and slept in trying to get caught up" and boy do I know how that feels.
She removes her hand and now I have two suspicious tired squinting eyes looking at me though like she's not sure I am. Then out of a long silence, having churned what I said, "How long did I sleep in?"
"It's noon." Didn't she notice the sun right above her? "Didn't you notice the sun?"
She looks at me for a moment like the weirdest question she ever heard. Even weirder than "Hho are yuu." No no, don't laugh again.
"No." She says it so finally that I feel bad for wanting to laugh. I'll stop.
But am I glad she's finally up, I've been waiting for her, waiting forever, cause there are just so many things that need to be done and I've been waiting to tell her and I'm glad I can tell her now and I'm sure she'll be glad to do things that'll cheer her up.
"I'm glad you're up though! There's lots of things that need to be done today. Besides flax I mean. As always! Oh yeah, you wanna give me your harakeke now? I'll get started while we talk, we're just a little bit behind!"
She stares at me then looks down at her satchel. She looks at it like a crab or something that just latched onto her hip without her noticing. She pats it with her palm once absently then looks up at me. "I don't have any."
"Oh! That's unusual!" I laugh a bit cause that's just never happened before. "I don't think we've ever had a day when you didn't come to my hut with a satchel full of harakeke -- even when I didn't need any!"
She glances at her satchel again. "It slipped my mind I guess."
She says it so quiet I kind of don't think it's funny anymore. "Well, you were tired too, like I was saying," I say a little quieter too. "Anyway, that's not important, but I could sure use your help for some other things!"
"What things?" she says quicker than before, looking up at me. That's better!
"Well, that storm did a lot of damage!" Boy did it ever. "Mostly to the bridge, and that's a big problem cause we'll need to get across when Nokama gets back!"
"Well, because of the announcement of course!" She looks at me blank like her mask. She really doesn't keep up with things does she? That's Hahli though. "You haven't heard? Rumor has it that when the Turaga gets back she's going to make some sort of announcement! Some are saying..."
"How do they know that?"
That surprises me cause it's really not like Hahli to interrupt someone. Not that it's big, but it's really not like her. Lots of firsts today I guess! "Well, they're just rumors. People trying to figure out why she left for that meeting with the Turaga. And they think that when she gets back she's going to announce a Kolhii tournament! Isn't that exciting?"
Not even a smile? I thought I'd get a smile at least.
"Why a Koli tournament?" instead.
"Kol-hii," I correct her. Well why would it be a Kolhii tournament? "Well that's... just cause Kolhii is so popular nowadays, and with Makuta gone and everything else it just seems like the time for a celebration right!"
I smile at her especially, sure she'll appreciate that with all we've been through, and boy all that she's done defending Ga-Koro and all. And she does. There's a nice little Hahli smile like only she does it. That makes me smile more.
"So yeah! Exciting huh? But we need to get the bridge fixed before Nokama gets back, or we'll miss the announcement!"
She seems to hesitate before "Can't we just swim over?"
I kind of pause at that cause it was just the sort of thing that hadn't occurred to me even though we live on a floating village after all. Leave it to Hahli. If she would just talk more than she could just think for me I know it. I'd be better off that way too!
"Well yeah. If we have to." I laugh at myself a bit. "I guess I'd just as well use the bridge. There's a couple things wrong with it thanks to the storm." I've been waiting to tell her all this, just thinking what I'd say, but I still kind of look off like I'm thinking about it some more. "The hardest part will probably be fixing the counterweight. It got wrapped around the support pretty tight. I was thinking you could probably knock it loose if you borrowed my disc." I look at her again, smiling cause I know Hahli just loves to be of help to somebody and she hasn't hardly used a disc ever.
"Why didn't you do that?" She said it so quick again like. Why didn't I. Well I was just waiting for her to get here that's all. Why didn't I. Just didn't occur to me because. Why didn't I.
"While I was asleep" maybe sensing I was taking a few seconds to respond. She sounds a little nervous too. I smile, realizing I hadn't been.
"Heheh. You know if I didn't have you to keep an eye on me I don't know what I'd do. I totally didn't think of that."
She smiles. A bit.
"Well, since you're here now you might as well.... And the second thing. I thought you might be able to help with this." I just wanted to tell her. "You see one of the shells on the wheel fell out somehow. I think you have one of those in your hut don't you?" I saw one in her hut once when I was over there just lying on the floor so I know the answer already. I just wanted to ask her.
Brief pause "Yes."
"Great! Then that's another problem fixed! If you do that then the bridge should work fine."
"Here." I dig out my disc which I must have carelessly tossed into my plant's leaves at some point. I hand it to her, smiling. "Remember, it'll come back if you miss the first time" kind of assuring her.
She takes the disc with just the tips of her fingers. "Right."
She kind of lingers for a moment looking around her. Then she turns around slowly and starts to walk away. Well of course she's still tired. Maybe I can get her going a little more.
"And don't forget to get some harakeke as always!" I laugh a bit. "Guess you have a lot of chores to do today." I laugh. A bit.
She turns to me suddenly and in such a way that inside I go Oh. I'm stuck on Oh for a while, just looking and being looked at like "Wonder what's going on in her head?" the both of us thinking. I would say, but something stops me. I would say, but I'm still stuck on Oh.
"Yes" she says all sudden like the word just popped from the surface and no context to make it so, not even a word spoken between us before that one word. Just like that she turns around again like sweeping that whole moment and our conversation away with her motion, and I am left in the clean swept aftermath. I'm kind of looking after her even after she's gone.
Now I feel kind of bad because now I really know she must feel really tired, turning around like that like turning over in bed, that sort of dismissal, because with Hahli that just isn't normal. And me pushing on her to do things like that will make her better, even though who wants to do chores when they're tired? No one. Now I feel kind of stupid. Wondering, couldn't I have just told her not to and go back to bed? Late for that. I'm stupid. How tired she seemed. I'm still looking after her.
I turn away at last but my thoughts are resting on her, picking up the cowrie shell and moving it against the harakeke that isn't there in my other hand.
Why didn't I do it myself.
Well I was just waiting for her and
when you're waiting for something
you can't hardly think of anything else.
And anyway every moment I was sure she'd be here.
I just wanted to tell her all the things I knew
so that she would know and I would have had told her
and so in that little bit of correspondence begun my day and her day
and so fulfilled the rest of my day in her.
I don't know. I just wanted to tell her.
I couldn't go out and do it myself
because Hahli is the one who goes out
Hahli is the one who does things.
I just wanted to tell her
I don't know.
I don't know.
~ ~ ~ ~
Edited by QuestionMark, Feb 19 2017 - 10:17 PM.