Jose, “Inside the River”

Ana is a powerful woman and holds her gifts humbly in her lap.  Sometimes power is a soft wind, you know.  Beside her is Jose, the love of her life.  He is of the earth element, grounding; what you see is what you get kind of guy.

Ana asks him, “How did you find me?”

His reply: “I was a farmer of dry land.  It was hard and mindless labor.  I woke up, touched my feet to the ground, and the land was a stranger.  I packed my belongings in two bags and left.  I became a traveler and held my stories inside my heart.  I became an outsider in the world and people began to look at me with fear.  I was dirty and hunger at times made me forget that I was a man.  I walked and wondered if I had a choice.  What force was behind this magic that kept me walking?”

His gaze was far away.  I knew he didn’t want me to answer, only to listen.

“I stopped in a town beside the sea.  I learned how to work on a fishing boat and fell under the spell of the tides, the push and pull of the water.  I had spent my whole life on land and the water felt clean.  I would speak to the moon when the darkness came and I was alone.  I would say, is this it?  Was I only supposed to find the water?  Why wake up a sleeping laborer?  Why make a man fumble with his thoughts and risk it all?”

He suddenly reached for my hand, sending waves of longing throughout my body.  He looked at me in agony.

“At night, ghosts pass through you and you are left with their pain.  It can make a man lonely.  It can make a man search out the body of a woman, any woman.  I went out in search of her skin.  I thrust myself inside her and left my coin on her table.  One night, I asked if we could talk.  I was on top of her, my sweat chilling her dry skin.  She said I could talk, but listening was extra and she had nothing to say.  She sat up and pulled her dress down.  She was so young and already worn out by so many men like me.”

“Yes, I understand the wearing out.”

I looked up at his face.  He stared right at me.  He didn’t want to run away from the hardest part of his story.

…and so it continues, inside the river.