They say that water has memory. Its chemical structure remembers, from the beginning of time, until now.
Our story, surrounded and contained by water.
Formless and formed, adjusting and adjusted, absorbing and absorbed.
location: Berlin, Germany
Together in the sun, he is sitting on the bank as I swim to meet him through the grass of the lake. I slowly stand up, sensing each drop of water roll down my naked body, each drop reflecting in the light of his eyes. Hummus, pita, olives, red wine serve as sensory distractions. The bliss floats out of our laughing mouths. We wade through the water, our chests and lower bellies meet. I feel the heat of a deep knowing and exchange. A shy look to the left, a drop of fear joins. The water reflects the sun back into our faces and eyes, encouraging us to trust in the brightness. Do we notice? We choose not to discuss the answer. Diving back into the cool water, the heat of our connection and the heat of our impending separation dissolve. For now, we are one. Me, him, the water.
location: Amsterdam, Netherlands
water: The Amstel
Five months pass with the Pacific calmly flowing between us. I in the West and him in the East. I am consumed by the heat of our separation; I crave to slip into the cold, silvery blanket of the sea with him, to leave this behind; I do this. We meet at the canal, time pauses, the moon shines down on our tight chests. Did we see the brightness reflected back at us five months ago? Do we choose this brightness or do we choose fear, do we choose darkness? Holding hands, we step and step, slowly, deeper and deeper, matching the pace of the flowing water next to us. Holding hands, we look at each other from the peak of our individual mountains, seeing a home in each others eyes but noting the dark abyss between us. The only way to meet is to reach the base of the mountain and tread across the solid ground. Our story begins its descent.
location: Faro, Portugal
water: The Atlantic Ocean
Seven months pass. Halfway down the perceived inner mountains, we stand shoulder to shoulder at the edge of the European continent, looking out over the Atlantic with no land in sight. The red sun stretches over the horizon, becoming wider and wider in a way I have never seen before. It appears to be on the edge of the universe as we know it, someplace in an oasis of time. I desire to go there with him, to hold his hand and step onto the surface of the limitless water, defying gravity as the pull of the sun and timeless space slowly melts us together. His lies and betrayal meet with my potential desires; the former wins.
location: Munich, Germany
water: The Isar
The river rushes around my calves and ankles. My feat grip into the dirt, my hands clutch the stones. He sits on the river bank, stable; I stand in the river, fighting the flow. A storm cloud rolls in, covering us in its darkness and thick drops. The space between us breaks, we becoming two people fighting the same battle. Rain pours into our faces, matts our hair, clothes cling to our bodies. The repetitive motion of the bicycles is the only familiarity. A few times I drive meters with my eyes closed. By this time I have gotten good at moving forward blindly. We pause under a bridge and wrap ourselves in a dry cloth. The smell of my palo santo cleansed home is in the fabric. A sad attempt at protection from our reality.
location: Tel Aviv, Israel
water: The Mediterranean Sea
We sit together by the Mediterranean. I can’t escape the heat. The heat of the sand. The heat of the air. The heat of the water. The heat of my lies in my stomach. I am trapped, and so is he. We are trapped in our own heat, and even the water isn’t cool enough to soothe us. He throws his plastic bottle with enough force to break us into pieces. It happens. The bottle hits the ground. Our individual truths come out with the shattering of our reality. Everything flows. The bottle is thrown away. Recycling isn’t popular in Israel.
location: Berlin, Germany
water: The Spree
I finally find the courage to say goodbye. Water takes its most intimate form, now able to cool us once more, wrapping our hot faces in heavy drips of saltiness. It pours down. It consumes. It transports. A tear rests on his cheek, not eager to flow down. I see it as an invitation to unite our individual waters. My gentle kiss becomes a suck, I take the tear in my mouth and we become one. Molecules meeting, bodies parting.