It had been years or days, perhaps mere moments, as she drifted upon these waves, undulating as if she were one of them, yet remaining entirely apart. Her life preserver had done just that, but she felt far from buoyed as she floated there, ridiculous and contemptible, thousands of kilometers from anywhere. She had become an insignificant speck bobbing pitifully amidst the vastness of the dark sea, this fluid void, a stirring sense of emptiness within which she found herself subsumed.
This was her plight and she knew it well. With the threat of drowning looming forever near, almost as an inevitability, she idly spent the time fiddling with her thoughts as if they were playthings, building them up and then tearing them down. She became preoccupied with broken possibilities and lost potentiality, reorganizing the fractured phases of her life so that they flowed with a certain gracefulness—without the dams and waterfalls, droughts and floods, the turbulences and evaporations which had brought her to where she presently persisted as nothing more than a distorted and discarded thing.
Her imagination felt like the cruelest of collaborators, though it was her only friend. The rocking of the waves caused her to sway uncontrollably, as if compelled by some lazily abusive rhythm—a clockwork tormentor who had become entirely bored with her. She thought on and on, until she became desperate and tears appeared, her frustration with this predicament becoming outwardly evident as she scratched and tore at the skin of her arms, the salted water of the sea reddening around her as she bobbed and wept, her disappointment in herself increasing alongside her growing resentment.
She watched an ocean liner pass by on the horizon, it moving slowly along the edge of the earth as if balancing on a wire. She gazed at it yearningly, the tug of longing for a mere semblance of acknowledgment pulling her into a descent, her head dipping below the surface of the water as she struggled with this unbearable sense of distance. These sightings of jubilantly buoyant voyages had begun occurring with more regularity and their frequency had come to frighten her: For as each passed by unwittingly, her despondency grew accordingly, until each passing vessel became but another arrow in her already-bristling heart—her hopes contorting and congealing into a hatred ever more hardened with each passage of another bothersome boat.
She kicked and batted at the water in order to turn herself away from where those tempestuous provocations moved in the distance. Through drying tears, she looked out upon the stars which filled the sky before her, their sparkle becoming kaleidoscopic against her watery eyes. She traced fragmented shapes with her finger, following the glimmer of one star to the next until gently gleaming pictures formed all around her, images like pointillistic witnesses wishing her well. These constellations of commiseration soothed her with the softest strokes until she lost herself, her sullied being lulled into a fathomlessness, the murky water taking her unweighted mind as its own.
And just at that moment, above all which had evanesced into an eddy, an empty lifeboat floated by absentmindedly. It lolled upon the waves as if waiting, its only marking that of a name stenciled faintly, the name of savior she shall never know.