It’s quiet down here. I can still hear the wind far above, far away. The moon’s almost full, if I counted right. It’s hard to keep track of what was Before, now that it’s After.


When I press my fingers to my eyes I can still see the Sun, a circle flash of light on optic nerves to my brain. It’s dark down here, and cold. When the fishes swim by they shine with their own bioluminescence. Tiny moons and stars near the ocean floor. The Sun I hold only in my eyes.


There was Before, and now there’s After. The way your childhood feels like a different existence but you’re still the same person you were since you were fifteen. At what point did you wake up? Maybe I wasn’t conscious then. Maybe I am now. Maybe I was, for a while.


But now it’s After.

Sometimes I think I see the world. In dusty colors, murky, dim. The lights on the mountains aren’t so bright. Golden haloes dimmed, even though I couldn’t see them before. Can you believe I sometimes forget I am underwater!

I can still smell it sometimes. The Sun, the wax. The light on the water. Old buildings and quiet afternoons. Dust motes floating in sunbeams. Shadows under roof eaves. Red stucco. I can feel it under my fingers.

But that was Before, and this is After. I woke up and forgot I was underwater.

The light doesn’t filter down here.

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