Monday, Oct. 06, 2003 @ 9:58 pm
I kneel on the island of pool two. The plywood is soft and slippery beneath my knees and the black aluminum net rests vertical in the water, poised for action.
The rain falls. The trees are dark green with damp and a mist lingers. Darkness is creeping over. I am alone out here. Inside they work - counting fish, washing buckets - and I relish the quiet and calm sound of a thousand raindrops, the intermittent whooshes of air as the seals surface to breathe.
Oboe surfaces in front of me. I lean over, he reaches up, and we brush noses. Curious, him to me. Up he comes, flip-flopping, fur sleak. Big nose pushed up against my knee. He sucks the sleeve of my fleece, the toe of my boot. Up he reaches, I lean down to him again and he investigates my braided hair and my blinking eyes.
In the darkness we sit side by side. It is a wild animal, I tell myself. The seals, these musical instruments, overwhelm me. Such curiosity, such softness, such care.
I leave the pool, take off my boots. Water slides down my neck and back, face and nose. It is completely dark now and I fumble for my wet sandals. Oboe watches me walk away, his eyes never leave me, he shines in the amber glow of the flood lights.
He shines. And rolls into the water, flippers up and over. And over again he shines.