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I am awake and aware, moving steadily through my world. I was resting a little while ago. I do not need much rest. Now I saunter my body through seas in search of small, struggling things that fit in my mouth to satisfy the low ache inside. When it is satisfied, I glide and glide and glide, aimless. I have seen four turnings and the whales tell me all I need to do is glide and eat and sleep. They will tell me what to do when it is time. I believe them.

Something touches me, and I can no longer glide. I am rising though I did not choose to. I feel up though I feel it is too high, I should not be here for any reason.  I tumble into a place where I cannot breathe, a strange new world.  I’ve never felt this before, where is my water that pours into my gills that makes me everything?  I struggle, but not too much because I want to conserve my breathing.  And now I feel tugging things on my body here and there and there, and it feels like nothing I have ever felt, and I need a word for this feeling, and the whales tell me this is what it means to hurt.  I am hurt, falling, it seems. I am hurting.  I am. I want to breathe. And soon I do when I am reunited with my world. Water crosses my gills limply as I drift down.  I know my swimming tools are gone. I breathe in a stultifying way, but it is not my living way.

I am drifting down because my swimming tools are gone, and I ache. My back and my flanks and my far end hurt, dear, sweet parts of me I can no longer touch and will not reply no matter how much I reach out to them.  I am drifting down.  I suppose this is okay because we can’t all survive as the whales tell me.

As I drift down into the cold, dark water, colder and darker than where I should be, I recall everything the whales said to me. I paid them little mind, believing their antics were pretentious and showboating, but I heard some of what they needed to say. Once our world was near silent. All anyone could hear was the turnings of fisheries, the struggles of female sharks trying to get away from the males, happy breachings, puffers making nests to entice a mate, anarchist octopus thinking a little too loud. The whales told me the new noises came and they learned their ways, suffered slaughters of generations, but they also told me that they met gentle hands whose hearts beat true, hearts that held no lies.

As I drift down into the cold, dark water unable to swim because my swim tools are gone, I feel tired.  I am ready to rest because it’s been a long day, and that’s all right. I am glad I lived a little life, sultry and honest, loving the deepest blue, as I drift wondering who would hurt me so, but I’d still rather berth in the unknown than come before my people and lie and lie and lie to them. I hope the whales will remember me to you.