From the rocks, the lady trailed her fingertips into the water, then over her keyboard, her instrument, eager to tell of what she has seen reflected in the depths of the ocean. Dependency. Compulsion.

She had her addictions and they played and called and were relentless: they pleaded to be seen and felt. Heard. It was as if, just as was done decades and decades ago when whale watchers spied from atop their lookouts mermen playing the same looping song for their lovers, the melody haunted the landscape of everyday life. Her addictions were more than ghosts because they were active: grinning skeletons dancing a jig on the rocks. She saw the bones but pretended not to.

It was this constant desire for romance and it was family history–genetics–and it was a great wish for more…these were the reasons for her addictions.

For a long time, a sea creature called dependency led forth her fate. The creature: red, foreign and dark now; familiar, white, and cool now. She is typing out all she has seen and drank and felt. She is remembering a childhood spent watching the creature and she is remembering an early womanhood spent dancing it, too. She is looking closely at it, slipping in beside it to touch it and understand its chemical appeal. Peering in close, reading its words, watching it flip around in the great waters and shimmy through all her life, vegetation, barricades, obstacles, details. She understands what she is when she couples with it: confident and courageous in the water, refreshed, invigorated by an easy swimming and the freedom to lift up and breathe. In middle age, she startles to feel a difference, to feel a menace and a dread emerge. Night after night, she has devotedly loved the creature and he has replied by plunging back into the saltwater–fulfilled and strong, ready for another night of this same dance, the synchrony of their swimming becoming a betraying chokehold that means she will—she will–drown.

She is writing outside of time, outside the lines of water and sky, keystrokes that become a tune, which become a ballad, that culminate in a thunderous and sick, great symphony here in the waters in the middle of the Year 2016. Somehow, in ordinary time, near the ruined sandcastles of dashed hopes and elusive happiness, up here against these rocks worn smooth by the incessant battering of life’s waves, here is truth: She must swim away.