When I was just a puddle of water with a face Carol protected me. She took me into her body like a balloon and truth be told I didn’t know the adventures she went on with me inside her; she was a membrane protecting me from the salty ocean, and a warm environment — she kept me from freezing, she kept me from drying out. She also, and I am not sure how I feel about this protected me from knowledge. I had enemies, both enemies who knew who I was and wanted to kill me for that, and enemies who didn’t care who I was but would kill me to achieve their own goals.

When they punctured Carol I spurted out onto the green grass. Above me was the sky and the air was thick with the smell of pollen, Dragonflies and damsel flies make sharp banking maneuvers to gather mosquitos. By the water’s edge where there was mud among the reeds water striders glid by on the scum.

“Come to me.” said the pond, or the spirit who dwelt therein. She smiled at me and I slid into her, mixing myself with her.

Who was I now, where did Chloe begin and I end? Why would I know or even want to know. And yet I did.

I think that that want, to know which of our mingled waters, green with the darting euglena, thick with rotifer, came from her. She must have wanted to want that, or known that there was a question she had always wanted to ask when she invited me inside her.

When fire came I rose up high, high, high clinging to the feathers of a fleeing goose. My love, the pond, became lost as steam.

In her death did she learn what was her and what was me? I hope so.

I like to think so.

I don’t blame Carol for lying to me, now that I am a man of power, bursting through pipes and powering the massive form of my body as I make the walls of the enemy city to dust, tear open their tanks and drink the last drop, climb mountains to offer my prayers to the sun.

She made a space for me inside her, and if that space was not the space of the rest of the world until she was punctured and mixed with it, it was, nevertheless a space for me.

I do not call it a lie, at least not when I talk to myself.

Do I call it a lie when I talk to you?

Some times.


4 thoughts on “Puddle

  1. Hayley Siegel says:

    Dear Eric,

    I know writing to you in the hopes of a response is a long shot but I’m going to take my chances.

    Here’s my attempt at an elevator pitch. I am in no particular order: a Big Bang Theory aficionado (I’m an Amy with a touch of Raj and Leonard), a philosophy major with slim work experience who existentially dreads a possible future in academia, and an aspiring television writer.

    I am going to take the plunge and ask you- someone with the job I want- for advice. Is it worth disappointing myself, biting the bullet, and going to graduate school? I’ve toyed with the idea of either getting a PHD in philosophy to convince my grandmother that I am a “doctor” or pursuing an MFA in dramatic writing to build up my portfolio and gain skills. Or do I disappoint my mother (aka my Sheldon) by running off to Los Angeles and trying to make it on my own in the television industry?

    I have my heart set on Hollywood, but I have absolutely no connections and am too socially clueless to shamelessly network my way to a job. Moreover, I have no experience writing for television outside of my own daydreams; I’ve taken creative writing courses, attended fiction writing workshops, etc. but have never felt confident enough to think I could make a living out of my work.

    How did you make the jump from philosophy to television? Where do I even start when it comes to learning about the craft of TV writing outside of going back to school?

    Any advice would be truly appreciated.

    H.R. Siegel

    • Dear Hayle,
      I think you shouldn’t go to grad school if you don’t really want to because the job prospects are poor. I’d start with “Screenplay” by Syd Field, then start looking at your favorite shows like a reverse engineer. There are other resources online as well. It also makes sense to start to learn enough animation that you can post little cartoons online and see what the response is. At the end of the day you need a feedback loop so you can take creative risks, see what succeeds and what fails, and repeat with that knowledge. Hope this helps! Best, Eric

  2. Oooh! This is a good one, Eric.

    “She made a space for me inside her, and if that space was not the space of the rest of the world until she was punctured and mixed with it, it was, nevertheless a space for me.” That’s what we all do when we fall in love or choose to love someone, isn’t it? We make a space for them in our hearts and minds, mostly our minds. Why do I say that? Because we make a conscious effort to choose to love even after we’ve fallen for someone. We choose it every single day. We opt-in. Each and every day until we don’t. That’s neither good nor bad; it just *is*.

    “I do not call it a lie, at least not when I talk to myself. Do I call it a lie when I talk to you? Some times.” It’s not a lie as long as we believe it to be true. Once we stop believing, yep, it’s a lie. Neither good nor bad; it just*is*.

    Of course, depending on which side of the equation you fall, it might feel bad. Nobody likes to discover they’re no longer loved, needed, wanted. But this is part of life.

    The exceptions to this rule are: bacteria and viruses. Good bacteria are necessary, but bad bacteria can fuck right off, as can viruses.

    I was going somewhere with this, but I’ve since forgotten. Or maybe I’m just babbling beyond the point I was making. I no longer know as I’ve suddenly discovered my brain is waterlogged.

  3. The morning I woke up to read these words for the first time, I had been dreaming of the clearest and deepest brook I could possibly dream of. I could see to the bottom of brook, yet I felt sure of its depths — meters and meters down, on the floor some fresh green. I never dreamt, read or thought of anything so pure.

    I long not to disturb the esssnce of what I find in here, but wanted to tell you of my dream. And although my telling could be read as metaphor, it isn’t. The dream was real.

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