The ocean is still. Somehow this is the scene before me. Where waves once crashed, all is glassy calm. Where the sky was spattered in blues and oranges, it is grey and yawns to infinity. I scream and spit curses, throwing handfuls of sand into the ocean, yet nothing changes.
Even my gouges in the sand are gone. I hope for grass atop the shore, but I never reach the top. There is no one in sight, long my daydream retreat. But this is some kind of purgatory. Banishment from freedom, from love, from a life wasted.
Time stretches on, I age. Hunger, thirst, and pain are constant. Nothing can sate or soothe me. There is no life. Only dreams of life. These have now become my escapes. I snap out of them drooling, face in the sand. There is no sleep. Fatigue and exhaustion envelop me.
Time stretches further, I am old. My dreams have become wraiths. They haunt me, terrorize me. They emasculate me, they humiliate me, they shame me. I have neither past nor future. Only twisted phantoms of fantasy.
I walk. Ages seem to pass. My legs creak and sway under me. The shore is all I know, and it has looked the same for as long as I can remember. No matter how far I walk, it is the same. The sky yawning. The ocean still. The sand unmoved.
I walk. My feet have no skin, no blood left. Only bones remain. Brittle driftwood bones. With each step, pain crashes and rolls up my body. On each crest of pain rides a prayer for death.
Then I see it. Finally, after millennia of cursing my fate and walking my feet to the bone, I see the sun. The clouds begin to tear just above the horizon. The red sun shades the sand a dull orange. My ancient knees buckle. My hands grasp the sand. Deep gouges stare blankly up at me. Waves crash, and there is no pain.
Then I see it: a figure, a dense shadow, opaque and endless. The figure drains the sunlight where it stands atop the ocean, the water buzzing at its feet. I know what it is, and tears scream down my face. Blue gashes of sky bloom into a canvas, spilling the sun onto massive white clouds. I am ready. I am young. I am standing. My eyes are closed as I say goodbye to my dreams, shaking their hands, slapping their shoulders, hugging them close. I open my eyes.
The ocean is still. Somehow this is the scene before me. I scream and spit curses, hurling heaps of sand into the ocean, yet nothing changes.