He had seen oceans. Rivers, rapids, bays and open seas, shallow and deep waters, serene untold voids and masses unknown. Storms raging at the surface, waves streching towards rumbling skies, down to the depths where time stands still. Biting, cold water covered with ice that light sips through, casting a green shimmer down below, thinner and thinner the deeper it descends, arching from a pale back to a dark belly. The seas were endless, it appeared to him. When he walked on land he moved quitly through villages by the coast, sometimes dressed in clothes, staying, sleeping, lingering for just a while i cabins that he himself had left behind and abandoned or cabins abandoned and left behind by humans. He had heard stories about others like him, accidently or inevitably shifting shapes before human eyes. Boarders and boundaries between realities overstept. An order breached and disturbed, then entities separated from their beings and stored forever in a deep mountain. Those rules and boundaries didn’t really apply to those who partly belonged to the sea, at least not to the same extent. No one could reach him down below, swimming in the deep, with the current, along the ocean bed and coast lines, over reefs, just beneth the still surface or the rugged sea, from the black bottom to the mirrors of the world. He was the sea, first and foremost, last and always. He could follow the tides for weeks, let himself be rocked towards the coastline until he closed his eyes and shifted shape and walked on land. He was tall and pale as a human, big hands and feet and two shimmering, grey eyes placed widly apart, glancing gently. Deep breaths filled him with atomized dampness, drops of water in the air and the air against a skin that never seemed to dry fully. He floated even when he walked. In some villages they had wondered who he was, or what he was, more so long ago when time passed slowly and the world ended faster. They had seen him come and go. He awoked old tales to life and gave birth to new about a ghost spirit that took the children that didn’t listen, dragged them down and into the mist, through the reed and further out to endless depths, but also stories about a guardian of sailors, someone who carried the foundered to the shore and blew air into water-filled lungs. In the villages they understood without knowing. Believed without seeing. The cities were another story all together, with few stories still alive. Lights and high towers rapt in smog and fog, soon descended into water once more.
Hazy and huge, lively and strange with their last days approaching fast. He could feel it in the water, vague vibrations, like from a ceaseless quake somewhere far away. Time running out. Congeries of lamps and colors and streets and wires, and with a stench worse than the sea. Sulphur and bodies. Excrements and oil. There he walked unnoticed along the streets, among them, sat in bars, sunk into himself, heard the sailor’s songs from ages ago echo within him. Saw great battles above the surface, saw ships and men fall through water, like debris caught in the wind, then swiftly left by it. Ships turned into carcases and drift wood. How winds died and the surface closed the sea like a thin lid over a great stomach, a timeless grave, reflecting the heavens and keeping its secrets. He drank until everything was blurred. He returned to the rivers and the docks and fell unbridled from high bridges, from rocks and down towards reefs and surfs. Fell back home, into the great silence. Sunk towards the bottom, felt the air escape the lungs, how the heart slowed and closed itself like a clam, heaved. Felt the body changing shape, scales growing out of skin, legs becoming a fin and geels split open by the ears, everything shrinking and compressing and transforming. Everytime was like being born again, created anew. The eyes opened and the heart started to beat and the tide carried him out and away, again and again and again. He had seen oceans. Rivers, rapids, bays and open seas, shallow and deep water. Serene, untold voids and masses unknown. Storms raging at the surface, waves streching towards rumbling skies, down to the depths where time stands still. Biting, cold water covered with ice that light sips through, casting a green shimmer down below, thinner and thinner the deeper it descends, arching from a pale back to a dark belly. There was an order that fell and a history behind and beyond it all that few knew of besides those who lived in it or for it, but it wasn’t his. He was the sea.