When I get home Aunt Josephine made some tea before leaving for the day. I stirred some sugar into the tea and watched as tiny granules sailed along with the tea’s current. Slowing, and then settling, the sugar dissolved into the tea and all that was left were tiny shimmers of light. I took a sip and felt it warm my tongue. I swallowed, letting the hot gulp of water travel down my throat and fall into my stomach. I took two more sips before putting the tea on the small table next to me and grabbing the document Dr. Ritter had assigned.

The document contained no title and no prompter explaining the tests purpose or significance. I examined its contents.


1 = Most of the time

2 = Often

3 = Sometimes

4 = Rarely

5 = Almost Never

1 2 3 4 5
I feel agitated or restless
I feel tired
When I wake up, I don’t feel there is anything to look forward to
My mind is always buzzing
I persistently feel empty
I feel slow
Even after a long nap, I feel tired
I am up at night thinking
It is difficult to get moving
I am easily irritable
I feel like crying for no apparent reason
I overanalyze situations I am in

I traded the document for the tea I had placed on the table and took in a few more sips. I walked across the room and grabbed the journal I had left in my bed. I flipped to another page near the back.

Day 508


Of sailing, the sea carries me as if I am its child.

Of sailing, the sea takes my burdens as if they are its own.

Of sailing, the sea protects me from worldly harms.

Of sailing, I am safe. Of sailing, I am free.

How I think about my voyage and wonder how life could be had I not sailed How when I think of my life now, how different things could have been Of sailing, I am grateful.

I closed the journal and looked across the room at nothing in particular. I envisioned the raft I had created out of lifejackets and remembered what it was like to gaze into the distance across the ocean. Sometimes if I concentrated hard enough I could see the edge of the horizon, the point where the sky met the ocean, their colours connecting. And as the sky turned, so did the ocean. When night passed and the morning came, I would watch as the sun rose over the ocean, illuminating it. By midday the sun would be directly over me and I would sense heaven above.

With all his beams full-dazzling.

I’d think of my mother holding my hand moments before the plane hit water. I remembered looking into her teary eyes and seeing something Atlantis-like, a hidden world of beauty behind a watery shield. She was up there, keeping me warm. I wanted to be up there then and I want to be up there now. As the day moved on and I floated about the sea, the sun dropped into the ocean. Its final performance: a beautiful explosion of colour, spilling its guts out across the sky and dripping them into the ocean like oil colour on a canvas. And then it would disappear and the stars would take its place. All of those stars had once been suns themselves. They had dies, but their light lived on and watched over me. I’d wonder about each of their stories and the worlds they each governed over. I’d pick one, theorize its significance, and smile up at it. All these motions served as a beautiful dance, each piece perfectly choreographed and in sync to follow the next.

For many days I’d watch this dance from beginning to end, although it never really ended, it just transitioned into another performance. Although the movements were more or less the same, each day was unique and memorable.

Now I was back and although the sun was still with me, I felt abandoned in a sense. With no sea involved, the performance was missing a key cast member and the story was incomplete. I walked into the kitchen, ran the sink and turned the light on. With my eyes fixed on the rushing water, I saw its white stream crash against the metal of the sink. I cupper my hands and obtained a scoop of it, brought it up to my eye level and pushed my hands forward. The water splashed against my face and dripped down my shirt. I walked into the front room and looked into the mirror at my wet face. A droplet of water edged over the hill of my right cheek and ran down the side of my face. Hanging on to my chin, it twinkled in the light like a star. It let go and dropped down towards the ground, exploding against my foot into a thousand tiny pieces, a thousand tiny stars melting into the ground to be recycled and started anew. I looked up into the mirror at my face again and looked into the pupils of my eyes. My irises were nebulas, my pupils a universe, shielded by a veil of water protecting my eyes. I closed my eyes, nodded my head, and knew what I had to do.

. . .