Dedicated to H. P. Lovecraft,
J. Cortázar and A. Dávila.
After this day there will be no trace of me, except this letter. I will try to explain the events that led me to commit a crime against my loved ones, sealing my final destiny, for I have given myself to the uncontrollable desire to sink into the black depths of the sea... I do not expect you to fully understand my motives because I am not yet able to fully understand them, but I look forward to things happening that way. Nor do I hope that you believe —I wish so— in what I am about to tell in these pages, but I swear that it is the truth, and although perhaps my words lack value or meaning at this time, I affirm that I witnessed dark and gloomy wonders hidden under the waters of the bay... I will try to describe as much as I can about my visions but I have captured scenes for which I have not yet found the most appropriate words. Perhaps only cultures whose beliefs adhere to animism have only the right concepts that my vocabulary lacks for now.
I will not say much about myself, except that I was born and lived quietly for forty-six years in Baja California, Mexico, studying its magical coasts; I am a biologist and I work teaching in a public school; I also have a wife and children whom I love immensely but... I have been forced to take their lives, despite the bitter pain in my heart. I did it to avoid them suffering the enormous horrors that are coming and that were exposed to me by the marine waters —you may think I am despicable, but the sea won my blind veneration since it revealed to me my ultra-earthly mission...
I can say, without the slightest fear of error, that there are few things in nature that can be as imposing and fascinating as the sea, capable of making us mortals feel infinitely tiny before its immensity; ephemeral before its incessant swing; unfortunate before its immeasurable power that exerts a terrible and magnificent force on the human spirit, evoking our curiosity by reaffirming again and again our almost absolute ignorance about the mysteries that involve the unfathomable waters under its agitated surfaces and that, sometimes, is better for us to keep ignoring. Not a few are the souls that have succumbed at the mercy of the ocean, on the coasts or on the high seas... However, accompanying that vertiginous sensation when contemplating the waves whipping violently on the beaches, always comes the fascination that causes its beauty... its magnificent charm —sometimes insidious— that attracts men: thousands have tried to explore its depths with diving equipment, with submarines or bathyscaphs... All of them have been such naive! There will never be technology that allows humanity to unveil the secrets of the sea! No one but us, the elect ones, will be able discover them!
Those who show themselves haughty and disrespectful to the sea should be scared to death because it can be very severe...! When it catches the unsuspecting by singing its old silent melody or painting its waters of magical colors, mortals then become prey to insane terrors... Several navigators and fishermen have warned me: «Never trust the sea... it can be a cruel trickster, a mean monster that guards its secrets with suspicion and vileness...». Indeed, the ocean can be hostile to the curious and the impertinent, but I have seen how benevolent and pious it treats us, we the faithful, we who are always passionately captivated just by its majestic vision...
Two nights before, I drank several beers at a nearby bar after a hard work day. Then I wanted to get rid of my ethyl dizziness by visiting the beach to cool off with the wet salt breeze before returning home. It was almost seven o'clock when I arrived in a lonely area, beyond the riverbank, where the waves came calmly and gently on the sand. I took a seat. I saw a couple of pelicans flying along the water and collecting some fish with their long beaks before continuing on their way. The sun was hiding in the distance, losing itself behind numerous clouds that filled the horizon, causing a picturesque spectacle of beautiful and magnificent orange, pink and violet colors... Ah! The landscape had never seemed more splendid in my whole life! After decades of boring routine in this insane and ruthless modern life, that was the first time that I enjoyed again the contrast of the sublime natural colors and the dark tones in the tide.
I remained on the cove, appreciating every nuance, every radiance, every flash, and then I saw them disappear and darken as the sky blackened and the clouds were carried away by the wind. With the passing of the minutes I began to perceive an echo in the rumor of the waves, with its rhythmic sway: a kind of vocal whisper that arose among the white foam... As the night came and gradually the sea became a deep dark mirror, I began to lose track of time. I felt that I had entered some kind of trance and saw my modest hand watch stop. I was completely alone, solemnly contemplating the black waters, as black as the sky where some bright eyes began to open, radiating an ancient glow, much older than all the oceans.
I don't know how or why, but... at that moment, when I was looking at the bright stars, they began to... fall from the sky! Yes! They all detached themselves from the sky and slowly descended towards the horizon, until they lost themselves in the sea! And there, among the calm waves, thousands of lights tinkled now beneath the surface, as if they were an immense bank of phosphorescent jellyfish... Then the waters advanced on the sand towards me but they bordered the contours of my body, surrounding me, devouring the entire beach and dragging with them the flashes of those lights, shining like ghosts that whispered... I said well: they whispered with archaic voices, older than any galaxy! I heard those voices, I felt them from my skin and even in my guts: those watery voices with sinister cavernous echoes; immortal voices that took me to the edge of madness but that, at the same time, produced me an unspeakable calm... The waters then covered me in a kind of dome or empty bubble; then the voices urged me to accompany them and sink into the ocean, to let me be guided by them to the depths of the abyss, where they would reveal to me all their secrets: ancient secrets inherited to the sea by the stars from all corners of the universe, since the beginning of the cosmos...
I felt then, during the trance, that time and space were distorted and dislocated, as I observed that scene. I perceived all times simultaneously: the creation of matter and the end of existence... The thousands of stellar voices, all of them different but always being one, spoke to me in unison from the indissoluble conscious substance that they were, are and will be: the ghostly echoes of the universe, a thinking whole, beyond the tiny and fragile human understanding, with a wisdom superior to any knowledge that humans would ever reach. They revealed to me the proximity of the apocalypse through atrocious scenes in my mind: I knew then that soon the oceans will rise above the Earth, shaking the depths of the subsoil, covering the entire world to claim once more and forever its absolute dominance, drowning the gross and insignificant achievements of man, as a severe punishment for the current lack of sanity and humanity in our species.
But the sea was pious with me: it told me that, before sharing its knowledge, I had to return home upon waking from the trance, saying goodbye to my loved ones and stealing their lives to avoid the ordeal of the coming devastation by the colossal tsunamis. «This is a mission and a test», the voices said... I woke up hours later, still on the beach, near midnight. I returned home, ecstatic and moved, and then I did what the merciful waters told me... So now you can call me crazy and murderous, or say that I am a madman in this decadent world that rots little by little, and think that I have chosen to flee from justice, but soon the facts will prove that I am right... Today I will leave again to the lonely cove; I will walk on the sand and feel the small waves licking my feet with its cold transparent tongue; I will head towards the sea and then I will surrender myself to it, to join its immensity, to join the infinite black and blue, to be part of the incessant dance of the waters.
Do not look for me; do not waste your strength to recover my corpse because by the time you find this letter, my body, my soul and my substance will belong completely to the dark sea waters... I will never again feel ephemeral before the inexorable march of time. I will dissolve into the eternal entity and transcend the boundaries of my skin and my thoughts, joining the infinite consciousness that inhabits the entire ocean, from its deep chinks to its murky surfaces that have always reflected the brightness of the stars, those that endowed the sea with life and reason, so the sea could endowed the entire planet, originally infertile and insensitive... I will let myself be carried into the depths by the spectral echoes, emerged from the marine and cosmic abyss, the voices that have indicated me my destiny to save me from future total destruction. I no longer belong to this terrestrial world: I will go to the call of the waves.
When you read these words, there will be only months or maybe a couple of years left until the end of time comes and the waters sweep away every trace of our civilizations, every vestige of our existence, erasing us, just like the traces of my bare feet on the sand of the beach... Bye and good luck. From now on... I will be one with the sea.
[This tale was written and translated between February 24 and 28, 2020].
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