The things they think I can do. The things they want me to do: that was the hardest lesson.
To touch his hand and smell the shit on him—faint, just there though he seemed fresh off the boat. Another wanted me to drown him. Sometimes it seemed the rest of them just wanted to be fed and left alone with each other. A few lied wonderfully in and out of bed and a chamber of my heart still yearns for the untruths.
But you have heard their side of the story. Anything they became, they already were. I have my own story, and how would they know anyway? I am glad that is all past now.
At this time of the year—when night is far away and evening lasts forever—I like to leave my house and the trees and come here. I wait until the dry Sirocco no longer wants to excoriate me, but is still willing to caress my body and leave a blush of red on my brown skin.
As the light dies, I can hear the trees better and understand the banal recollections of beards and pig's nose, the spilled wine upon the shore and how the blue of the sky and sea seem to forebode fire and danger.
The light is flickering on the sea and over there is vague and far enough away. Over there is a point in space upon a contrivance I have named, and so brought into being. But even then, if I stop thinking in words….
I am not sure where she is. She only comes to me in dreams. She wears only her sandals and light upon the beach. She passes over me as I sleep upon the sand.
The architecture of her scent is in my nose first, in the herbs I crumble into the lentil soup. She taught me how to make her favorite soup with poached fish and dry goat's cheese. I remember how we ate olives and bread together here and waited for the moon.
But she left too. I keep thinking the blame, the answer is somewhere in my story, but perhaps it is in hers. Or ours. I want to ask her.
The island bears divinity. Have I become so much this place that I may share in that? It seems for a moment that the sound of the ocean and the wind stirring up the perseveration of the trees allows me to forget time.
Soon, the last bolt of the sun will touch me and the rock: another year will have passed upon this island, but they feel all the same. I can only tell myself they are not.
The animals are sleeping now. Perhaps they always were—the brink of immortality is always terrifying at the threshold of Dark. But there resides the freedom I may find away from here.
*Aeaea was the island of Circe in The Odyssey and elsewhere.