The Eye-Talk

There are some things that Adults are deprived of observing for their minds have become adulted.

Traveling on a road that seemed to meet the end in eternity flattens one’s sense of time. As the sun rose to its zenith, our van trundled down a never-ending road, through a landscape as flat as time itself. The road appeared as if it was suddenly thrown like a roll of toilet paper, unfurling unceasingly in front of our eyes. I was in another country with my relatives, driving to the sea. We were sitting close together, but mentally apart. They were in a state of trance, somewhat transfixed in the past or future. The road brought us together, jamming us inside a tiny space, and I was stuck between the anguish of their midlife state and the smell of sweet, cheap colognes that filled the air. This is how I learned to get car sick. The clock didn’t tick forward but the hum of the engine lulled me into a milky world of imageries. I dreamt of driving in a submarine through a milky ocean, where the line between sky and water was erased and strange creatures with lion heads and fishtails swam through the waves. Though, with every speed bump on the road I was snapped back to the van.

The minute we arrived at the sea, my socks, sneakers, red overall, and my boater hat were all tossed into the air, hovered in the air like kites. The sea was now within arm’s reach. I quickly ran to the water and swam out far enough to wonder if my mother was watching me. I couldn’t see her on the crowded shore, at least not from where I was. Suddenly, I felt this intense sense of freedom: I could be anyone I want. I can have any names I want to be called. Then I saw a fleeting image with a strong impact, a boy. He had the darkest hair I had ever seen, a long, straight nose, and a straight row of calculated teeth. It seemed like the eyes had no color that reflected the colors of the sun and sea. His Lips were slightly parted as if he had been interrupted momentarily. He was something straight out of a comic book. This puzzling feeling covered me like a giant wave. I was a little fish in the belly of a whale. We rode the waves together, and our laughter was ringing out across the sea. He spoke to me in a non-lingual way that I call “eye talk”.

Suddenly, my mom yelled my name and she revealed my secret. We laughed like mad kids and lingered there for a moment, gazing at each other before I swam back to the shore. And we drove back to our rented apartment in the city. Everything was the same except my feelings. In the bathroom, I took off my swimsuit and ran cold water over my body. I had a pink tattoo of my swimsuit on my skin. As I stood under the shower, I felt something pulsing at my core, so I explored it with my fingers. I trusted the soft skin that split in the middle and suddenly I was transported to a black void. I felt dizzy and weak. When I opened my eyes, there was a reddish tint on my index finger and I cried. I cried because I thought I had gotten sick from drinking seawater. No, it wasn’t that, I knew I would never have an eye talk with that boy. As I looked down at my index finger, I felt a pang of sadness. I ran to my mom, crying, seeking comfort. But I wasn’t aware of what I was putting myself through.

My mother, my aunt, and my second aunt were filled with fear when they saw the tint on my finger. They took me to a room, locked us in, and subjected me to an hours-long interrogation. This included a thorough examination of my private parts. They stared at my vulva as if they were watching a peep show, taking turns to observe me and muttering among themselves. It felt like they were conducting a ritual inside of me. They kept asking if anything had happened in the sea and if any boy had hurt me. I felt nauseous, not knowing what they were talking about or what they were looking at. Eventually, they ended the interrogation and nodded as if everything was okay. After they left me to sleep, I noticed a round mirror that my aunt had used earlier, now placed beside my bed. I wondered if I was the only one who hadn’t looked at it yet. So, I knelt down and positioned the small mirror between my thighs. I tried to find a clear sight of something that seemed like a mystery to me. And then, I saw something in the mirror.

It looked like the cosmos at first glance.