The Titan in My Dreams — A Summer Memory
My heart leapt out of my chest. “Do it,” said a voice in my head. So I did.
Summer heat singed my skin, fruit flies roamed over my head, headbutting me across the face.
The sun hung high in the sky, watching us with a piercing eye from her fiery throne.
Ah, July, the peak of summer. It was the time of family vacations, weekends on the beach, watermelons, madness everywhere.
Short summer vacations by rivers and waterfalls were the norm in my family. Nobody liked or cared for the “beach life” but my younger brother.
Then, sixteen and full of wonder rather than the bitterness of teenagehood that only awakened when my younger brother touched my belongings without my permission, I did not mind another vacation in a mountain resort.
“As long as there is water, it’ll do,” I told my younger brother who rolled his eyeballs to somewhere no one could reach.
We arrived at the Oum er-Rbia River, (Arabic: “Mother of Spring”), the second-largest river nestled in Morocco’s Atlas Mountains. It is a place famous for its powerful river stream and scenic waterfall.
It was semi-full of people, tourists and locals, either swimming in the spring or hiking up a hill.
Then I saw it, glistening against sunlight, gushing, raving, roaring against rocks, and soaking all that dared to approach.
It was itself soaked in tiny, bright stars that looked as though they were stitched on its flowing body.
I heard the shrieks and laughter of visitors, followed by a splashing sound and, strangely, delighted coughs and choking noises.
Some were floating on their backs, some were swimming, some were splashing each other, and some were standing beneath the waterfall.
My feet tingled in my sandals. My heart leapt out of my chest the way it always had at the sign of an adventure. “Do it,” said a voice in my head. So I did.
I was glad that my older brothers took care of the bags and that my parents were too busy quarreling as they walked towards the inns.
It wasn’t like any of them would have stopped me from going, but they sure would have nagged me a lot about how I might die drowning since I couldn’t swim.
I could not risk that… their nagging, I mean.
I walked with a minuscule sprint only I could feel. My eyes were swallowing the gushing water whole. My head was spinning, my skin buzzing. My mouth was dry, either from heat or anticipation.
The closer I walked, the larger and the mightier the waterfall looked. It towered over me, casting its magnificent shade, daring me, pulling me in.
A mere mortal, I did not resist. I could not.
People around me still laughed, still swam and floated. I was oblivious to it all.
I dipped my foot in the cold water and I could instantly feel tiny ice cubes forming in my chest. I shivered.
I took a deep breath and surrendered myself to the cold, humming water tapping gently against my skin. I did not care to take off my sandals or change into my swimsuit. I did not care.
The water was not that deep. It reached my neck, and I let a breathless, elated laugh escape from me.
I inched closer. No, I was drawn closer, closer, closer. I was now inside what I imagined to be the stomach of the waterfall — the plunge pool where people gathered and swam around.
Pulled by its gravity, I raised my head and looked up. I imagined a titan, gazing down at me, thundering: “Do it.”
As if under a spell, I found myself barricaded by raging, foaming water.
Within seconds, I could not feel my body. My heart was pushed out of my chest, flying into space.
My legs flailed like corn hit by the wind. My eyes were shut closed, but within their darkened rooms, I could see meteor showers, falling as the waterfall fell.
I was not on Earth. I was in the titan’s arms, his giant hand balanced against my back, grounding me albeit my quivering body.
I forgot it all. School days, fights with my brother, insecurities, the names of my bullies, my teenage broken heart, fears of losing my loved ones, and all the fears and thoughts that came after and before.
I was frozen in time. Time itself was frozen between each drop of the falling water. I was not me, I was no one, nameless, lonesome, calm. A happy spark lost in darkness.
The water flowed through my hair, cascaded down my face, and whispered in my ears “What on earth are you doing, dude?” It said.
I was now being pulled by a weaker force. It was more frail yet just as persistent.
My eyes drew open and I was back. Sunlight infiltrated me, peeled me off the titan’s hand, back to Earth.
“What on earth are you doing, dude?”
It was my younger brother.
Nothing escaped my mouth. “Nothing,” I said and smiled at him warmly.
“You’re creeping me out.” He walked past me, and there, he stood beneath the waterfall.
Like a candle melting at dusk, he was quiet. It was his moment now. Mine was done.
As I walked far away from the waterfall, it looked smaller. The water was, in reality, not even that strong. It was gentle and light just like all those fears that crippled me once.
I cast one last look toward the waterfall before I ran back to the inn, dazed, hypnotized.
In the darkness, I drew in the last breath before I pushed myself off a high cliff, plunging into the clear, turquoise waters of sleep.
There, a titan was waiting for me, spilling stars into space.
A thousand years had come to pass. In a flash, I found myself in a dim-lit room, typing away on a keyboard, summoning memories to pages.
To this day, I still dream of turquoise waters, I still wait for July.
Painting In The Dark
Painting in the dark of the night Watercolors from the moonlight Blue, green, and white Fingertips dyed in stardust…
Thank You For Reading 🍪