fiction by Kimaya Kulkarni
There you are. You are standing there. No, it’s more like you are reacting, your body trying to hold you in the place where your feet are probably buried in the sand. Your face is pure noise. Your eyes are wide and crinkled, not exactly knowing whether you’re afraid or overjoyed. Your mouth is open, mid-squeal, and I can see the dark warmth inside. Your hands are way up above your head, stretching half of your body upwards, away from the water. The water, like you, is pure noise. It has gushed towards you and invoked such delightful havoc that you don’t know what to do. You are frozen in the moment when the wave decided to overcome you. Look at you. Standing in the middle of a wave, the foam of the water all gathered around your thighs, rendering you Botticelli’s Venus subverted. No gazers looking with awe or fear as you birth yourself, no painter desperately trying to immortalise your existence with his gaze, it’s only you and the infinite wave.
But here you are. I am staring at you in that moment. Me looking at you looking at the wave. So, it was the wave, you, you, the wave, the photographer, the camera. And now there’s me staring at what the photographer saw through their camera. I am gazing at Venus birthing herself in the middle of a wave, rendering myself Botticelli’s Horae of the seasons deferred.
There is no one around where you are, only shrubs far off on the island and the clear white sky, the meeting of You and Wave, making the only pure noise in the middle of a calm landscape. There is violence right beside you, capturing this moment in time, and violence twice away as I get to witness the moment passed, and violence thrice away as I get to witness the moment again and again whenever I please. I, like you, am pure noise. Forever mid-blink, stuck in the moment when I gaze at myself gazing at you.