The story. The sea
That rock protruding from the foam seemed bothered by the spray of the water. I have been here for much longer than you – he seemed to say – but you know the sea has no time, it is something that was born together with everything and had the arrogance of having always been the first: the first to swallow the earth and throw it back out to make it reborn as an island and a rock.
That day Maya was wearing a colorful costume, one with the shells attached, dangling at her hips. Her, small and tight about her, her were those of a little girl about to explode in a spring body. She was breathing heavily in those 10 years spent on familiar beaches, made of marbles, balloons and paddles. Her arms burned by the sun and the red eyes of those who open them in the sea to see everything, while the salt irritates the itchy eyelids. A lucky anklet, the hair attached to her face stopped by a squeezed and worn elastic, poised between a braid and a pigtail that is too large.
Mom, I want to take a bath – he said – I’m hot!
Elisa lowered her eyes, moved her giant hat that covered her face and smiled. She reached over to her daughter’s head and told her they would be entering the sea in a few minutes. She was reading a book and she had to finish it in two days, the deadline was imminent and she was behind.
Mom – Maya said – but what kind of job is it to read other people’s books?
Elisa smiled, she had explained it to him many times but her daughter still could not understand what work her mother really did.
I correct the dreams of other Maya, he always said. Because some dreams are wrong and wrong – she said.
Maya was not very convinced, according to her dreams were never wrong, sometimes they were just scary, especially at night. And so they talked for hours about those dreams of others, which she Maya could not translate into reality.
-The books are basically made up of Mayan dreams, the mother said, except that sometimes we don’t know how to explain and tell certain dreams, they have been living in them for years and we don’t know how to really get them out.
What are you doing mom? Do you help them out?
In a certain sense – Elisa replied – especially those stuck between the belly and the heart. Those are the hardest my daughter.
-And does the sea have dreams?
Of course it does – he replied. He contains all the dreams of the world, makes them sail far away and then brings them back to earth when we least expect it. The sea fixes their dreams much better than me.
They always burst out laughing and together they invented the dreams that the sea could have.
In my opinion – May said – the sea would like no one to bother him. Too many people inside him tickle him a lot, that’s why he gets angry every now and then and raises the sky-high waves.
-You are right Maya, it is. likely.
For that in many years it has swallowed a lot of people, a lot of boats and a lot of shells. Elisa looked at her daughter, it was nice that he thought so. She somehow she justified with her fantasy of her the many tragedies that had taken place at sea. Children have that strange magic that lights up everything, even where darkness becomes a cross and mourning, they are always there to tell you another story.
Elisa had given birth to Maya in the middle of the sea. One August night, in front of her house, a storm had blocked the streets of the town, the telephone lines had gone down and her cell phone under the mountain never picked up. She was alone, she read the usual book by candlelight, she was a month away from giving birth. That little girl had been an unexpected gift, she had arrived without her looking for her. She had joined a local boy, with whom she had a romantic and free affair. She had been in the same place every summer, making love, since she was 17. With him she had learned sex, her body that she tells about her, she had learned goodbyes and returns. Elisa was an orphan and she had inherited a tiny house by the sea, on the small island where she grew up everyone knew her, they called her the orphan, that little girl with black curls and almond-shaped eyes looked like a sea creature. She grew up in a convent perched on the sea, a kind of family home with volunteers who taught her to swim and the nuns who forced her to pray.
When he turned 18 he decided to leave the island, went to live in Rome, where he enrolled at the university and became a teacher. But her fate had reserved something else for her. A chance encounter, a woman who had written her story. A Jewish survivor of the Titanic. They hit it off right away and became friends. She took it to work with her, she had a big publishing house and she needed an editor, a witty and brilliant person who fixed the stories of others. Elisa was perfect. Chloe ‘, her old lady, set her to write her weird memoirs of her and she who could fix her dreams, helped her fine-tune the novel. That book became a best seller. Chloe ‘was a single woman with no children. She put her to work for her publishing house and thus became one of the most sought after and sought after editors. He worked with Chloe ‘for a few years and when she died he bequeathed that house by the sea to her. The same island where she grew up.
One who survived the Titanic had a house facing the sea. It was a strange thing for Elisa, she thought that the sea such a she would never want to see again, and instead it was exactly the opposite. For her Chloe ‘the sea represented a second chance, a second life and she never stopped looking at him until she turned 98 and she died in front of those waves that had already saved her once.
That blue expanse was made up of millions of bodies that sooner or later it would return, along with the dreams and miseries of the men and women who had sailed it.
Mom – asks Maya- what is under the sea?
Elisa took off her hat, closed her book and took her daughter by the hand.
-Let’s go and find out together, will you?
-But when we enter the water, can I throw some dreams into it? Or do they get lost?
Of course you can Maya – she said – you were born in there, you are already a dream, a dream that has come to life.
Then the sea is not so bad – said the little girl -.
Every now and then he snorts – Elisa said – but makes us understand that life is always a gift. Even when it seems to take her away from you. Because ‘the sea has no time, no age, it is only life that flows and continues, despite everything, despite us.