A Dream Come True

by Christopher Lovejoy on December 4, 2011

There was no sun gazing that morning.

Not long after I meditated on the nature of time in and out of this four-dimensional sandbox, I was standing on the horizontal trunk of my favorite palm tree when I saw the glints of sunlight.

These flashes were not typical of what I usually see on the water.

With the benefit of foresight, I knew enough to be prepared. Binoculars hung on a strap around my neck. My canvas bag contained a beach towel, a first-aid kit, and a bottle of water.

I raised my bins and trained them on the glints, suspecting the worst, but hoping for the best.

As I adjusted my focus, something indefinite appeared in my field of vision, rising and falling, following the rhythm of the waves.

Captivated, I watched this mysterious object bob up and down some more as patches of orange and black conspired to coalesce into something I could identify.

And then my inner daemon called to me from the depths.

Pushed by a persistent feeling that the vision in my dream was coming to fruition, I rushed to solid ground, dropped my bag on the sand, and placed my binoculars on top of the bag.

I hit the water running and swam a rhythmic crawl, keeping my eyes trained on the object of my discovery, and when necessary, pushing through the incoming waves with a straight back.

As I approached, I picked up the pace.

I could see that a bulky orange life jacket was keeping her alive, allowing her to remain upright in a slightly backward position, but she appeared unconscious and more than a little dehydrated.

I tried a few greetings on her but she remained unresponsive.

A pair of dark shades covered her eyes. I lifted them gently but her eyes remained closed.

I took hold of the strap on her jacket and tugged her to shore.

Just beyond the shoreline, I sat her upright and removed the shades and life jacket. She was naked from the waist up, wearing only a black bikini bottom that was made to suit a modest taste.

I carried her further away from the incoming tide, had her lie supine, and fetched the water bottle.

When I returned, she was slightly delirious, speaking in a foreign tongue.

I knelt next to her and inspected her face.

The skin on her face had many of the telltale signs of dehydration. It was sunburned. It appeared both taut and slightly withered. A couple of staph infections were also evident.

Barely conscious, she whimpered. Her eyelids fluttered and her lips parted feebly.

I opened the bottle of water and poured a small amount into the palm of my hand. Tilting my hand slightly, I dribbled the elixir of life onto her lips and into her mouth. Reassured by her swallow reflex, I repeated this action until the bottle was empty.

I closed my eyes, took a deep breath, and found stillness.

I had never tended to anyone in this way before. What now?

Answers arose spontaneously from the depths, in a series of instantaneous prompts.

My gaze settled on a comfortable spot in the shade nearby.

After spreading the beach towel evenly in the shade of a nearby palm, I took her into my arms and carried her there, setting her down squarely and gently on top of the towel.

She gazed at me as if in a haze, through half-seeing, half-closed eyes.

I rested the palm of my hand on her head. “I’ll do what I can to help you.”

I picked up the empty bottle and slung the canvas bag over my shoulder.

I jogged to the pool at the center of the island and filled the bottle with fresh water.

And I gathered fresh, ripe juicy fruit on the way back.

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