A primitive feeling of urgency took hold of me. For days and nights I felt as if I had lost all control of my faculties while being goaded by an intangible need. A blurred mirage of mother hung snugly in a dark recess of my brain, emitting a feeble light that turned the blackness into a fugue of gray. An anamnesis from the past, as shapeless as the surface of the sea on a windless night rode the back of the song from far away and guided me ahead.
It grew loud as the water got colder, crisp as the air turned brisker. I felt the currents, diverging near the top, converging the deeper I dived. A vast solace engulfed me in the frigid darkness and when I resurfaced I irresistibly stared with misty eyes at the stars above. Getting my bearings by sound and light pervaded me without any conscious attempt. Where did I learn to do that? Who taught me? The questions, the myriad of them, remained unanswered.
On a spry morning, 49 rising and setting suns after I left the bay, I saw them in a pod dotting the horizon. I called and they answered back, wordless voices of certitude but of little or no choice. They are like me, I reckoned. Memories trickled back then flooded my field of vision. I saw the school I grew up with. I felt the warmth of mother. I remembered ephemeral associations. That’s what brought me here and what will take me further west till I reach that solitary humpback! That’s what brought the others here too. The song, the eternal song, I hear for the first time.
Jets of froth filled the air and cascaded down like broken chrystal. Tall obelisks of fury erupted and ruffled the shoulders of the undulating waves. I was cornered in the endless ocean among my peers, fighting with each of them for my right of passage. Only if I could best this brawny one off to the left. Oh, and that one with the ugly cut in the fin, and the slimy looking one there and that fat one and the other.
With the break of dawn the melee came to an end. The ocean had turned red with the blood of the losers and mine. My body fat consumed, my strength depleted, only the burning in my loins remained. I swam by her side then circled around. Her own quest had come to an end, she acquiesced. She stood still realizing without looking back that I was the sole one for her. I made one last shallow dive and took her from below, holding her with invisible hands. As our eyes locked and my sperm flowed irreversibly into her she sang her eternal song one more time but only for me.
She will call again and I will swim across the earth's oceans. She is mine, we both know it, till the end of time.