And here we sit in the midst of a vast and unpredictable sea, feeling every wave vibrate through our bodies like a shiver of fear, hating every ray of sun that splashes across our burnt skin, and awaiting the arrival of the end. We are denying our slow, but sure, sinking into the black depths of the ocean. Our worthless conversations are cut short by dehydration and pain. And we await the end of our misery in this sea, the end of our hope.

We wonder if it will, indeed, be the end of our misery or, rather, the end of our lives.

I have never seen the sea from this point of view. It stretches on from every which way and it is as though there is no end and no line between the sky and its ever-changing surface. The water seems far away, yet too close so that its presence is smothering me and I can't breathe. It laps up against the side of the couch. It splashes over the armrests and soaks my sleeves. It will not be overcome and it will not leave. I close my eyes and it is there. The water. The water is always there. The water is in my soul.

Once, a long, long time ago, I looked upon a painting of the ocean. It was done in acrylics, a calm and serene painting that made you feel an unexplainable sense of relief when you saw it. It was so peaceful, the ocean a soft blue-green with small white crests like cream riding a wave of silk. This painting makes you love the ocean, long for it, and dream about it. It calls you to the ocean, beckoning for you to come in. It is a painting and an unchanging surface that cannot show the truth for it shows only what the artist wanted it to show: a two-dimensional ocean that stretches only paper-thin.

It did not take long to realize that this was not the beach. There was no land, there was no soft, blue-green color in the water, and the water was very real. We could see it—a color so dark and unexplainable, it would haunt you until the end of your days—we could taste the salt on our tongues, we could smell the brackish air, we could feel the crust begin to form on our skin, we could hear the water crash into itself as it curls over and over. The sound soon became a normal sound for us, like the rhythmic beating of our hearts and our short, raspy breaths.

Sometimes I wonder if I lost my mind. Time seemed to cease to exist, night was day and day was night. The sky and the water seemed to stretch into each other like a never-ending bubble that engulfed us in its immensity. After a number of days, I do not know how many, I began to see land in the distance; a dark, gray line on the horizon. I would shout to Robert Land! Land! And I would jump off the couch and start to swim and he would yell after me Come back! Come back! And then I would get tired and come back because there was no land there was only my wearisome mind and my crushed spirit. Perhaps my spirit was broken long before my mind left me. Or maybe my mind left when my spirit broke.