Crimson Orange Daiquiri

Posted April 20, 2023 by Su Sun

Get a dog he said, go walking every single day

Find out what the air smells like

Look at the ocean

Get to know the birds.

I got bored after six months, but kept walking because of the dog.

I never understood how to look into the past without changing my eyes. There is nothing to see there with today’s eyes, and the eyes of the past see nothing here today.

During the last four years I taught myself Morse, investigated lunar and other cosmic cycles, fathomed the changing ocean currents and got to know about every bug that lives on this island. What do today’s eyes tell me about that process? Yes I learned, learning is good, knowledge is good and all that.

But what now?

Where can I go nowhere?

It all started in my field when I began building little bridges in the cane stalks: mezzanines, overpasses, gangways between rows and stalks. I used leaves, sprigs, older bits of cane, roots, anything I could find. I tied up bits of leaf to make slides from one stalk to another. With cotton thread I stitched screens from leaves and created inner sanctuaries. A little hyperconnected universe emerged amidst the stalks.

The bugs mingled freely with different species, seething and crawling, and intoxicated with their newfound freedom they became worldly. The snakes enjoyed the little sanctuaries, the rats the tunnels. There was inter-species, inter-generational pandemonium.

The beetles sent out Morse code to their brothers: “It is heaven here.” Snakes left intricate messages in slime paths to help other snakes through the maze. There was a bewildered sense of camaraderie and cooperation; they had found a loophole in the struggle for existence. Insects and fungal creatures, snakes and rats and every other beast or being enjoyed the new world I had created for them.

I worked months each season only to see everything destroyed in the autumn harvest. The bugs and beetles and caterpillars disappeared. But by next season I had renewed my little world and they had returned.

I needed to train my hands, my skin, to feel my way through their world. I taught myself all kinds of shorthand, I immersed myself in Braille; I prepared my fingertips for every visit I made to my field.

I started to sense their conversations through my hands. Their tremors and resonances kept invading me through my fingers. I learned to listen to them, understood their discussions, got to be part of their debates, if only as a listener.

I became familiar with their dialogues and diatribes, their remarkable songs at work (in entirely different tones and scales to our music). My fingers felt their projects and dreams. I experienced the birth of a nation, renewed each season and each season further evolved.

By the middle of the third season, the bugs and beetles and spiders and snakes had become federated. They saw that their newfound wealth could take them further. Could enlarge their world. I sat in on long meetings where they discussed moving to another universe. The snakes looked to the moon, the beetles wanted more knowledge and some spiders just wanted more food-stock.

I got wind of committees formed to investigate time travel along with subcommittees to ascertain the needs of the travellers.

I became nervous. Where was all this going?

I began to sense they were onto me; they were hiding their conversations from me. The more I attempted to feel their communications through my hands, the more I detected that the flow of information had been reduced to a bare minimum.

And then…

Last week the select committee concluded that they would go to the moon. The crew would consist of three travellers: two beetles and one spider. From there it all went very fast; they had been training cosmonauts for this occasion all along and the team was eager to set forth.

For months now, where I had built a landing pad in the third row between very dense cane stalks, they had been weaving and spinning some kind of gauze ball about the size of a fist. It hummed and emanated a kind of glow at night. I seemed to get a headache whenever I came near it. I tried to find out what they were up to but they never discussed this project in any of their meetings. Now, however, all their attention was focussed on this white ball.

And yesterday, the select committee and the three cosmonauts proceeded to this ball. To my surprise I was permitted and even encouraged to come and see. I was nervous but they were all exhilarated, they were singing and I believe dancing and carousing. The three cosmonauts entered the ball. The rest crept back a few rows and everything went very, very quiet.

I swear that ball sucked up all the noise around me, light too, it became dark and utterly, deafeningly silent.

And then a flash.

But now what?

Where can I go nowhere?