Walking along the pavement, the sea spreads forth into a short distance, held back from expanding forever by clouds joined together on the horizon. It it 4 PM, and I am out for the third time today. In my pocket, a crumpled sheet of paper with some crude drawing I had done an hour ago. As soon as I finished drawing, i realized that I should not have drawn it. I felt so vile, and that the vile drawing must be immediately destroyed. Disposing them at home may infect the pure atmosphere of a good family, a strong protective feeling arose within me. My mission is to ensure that the contents will never be discovered ever by mankind, so I shall throw my drawings into the sea where no one should bother with the trouble of investigating, not with all the other troubles the world was in. As I walked the distance to the seawall, a mere 20 steps from my house, I felt for the first time the immense weight of sharing a secret with God. I could sense the billions of people in the world surrounding me in a circle, eyeing me carefully and keeping their distance. I became alone and I was eight years old.
The buildings were short and the sky pushed back against all of us. The pavements were wide, unevenly paved in blocks with a symmetrical design in mind, one that never had any hope of being executed well to begin with. Green nets cordoned off the sea wall and the ocean, it had become a port as I was growing up. I remember that at one time when it was being built, a tiny patch of white sand flowed out into the sea during the chaotic construction. I saw an image of a family smiling and rejoicing there, with food and kids playing with sand. They laughed so beautifully, and I longed for it to remain forever.
I would walk for hours looking at the sea, and I came to know the fence well. As I stared off toward the sea, I would pluck at it, gently unsheathing the soft metal wire inside. I was so adept at it that I could feel which ones would give way first. The heat weaves the plastic into crispy bits, the sea corrodes the metal, leaving the insides deep red and powder on my fingers. Many times, I wanted to put it in my mouth and taste the sea salt in the rust.
I did my best to look like a child doing something that an adult would see and say, this kid is simply strange as all children are strange without their parents nearby. Taking the crumpled paper, I tore off bits and threw it into the sea, my hand squeezed through the net. The pieces waited on the seawall for the wind to take them to the water below, crabs as the witnesses. Each bit floated away slowly establishing my innocence to the sins of man.
“What are you doing? What did you throw?” The police man asked me. He had been loitering around and waiting till I got close on the way back. I don’t remember what I felt, did I panic?
“It was nothing”. I did not look at him, so I don’t know how he looked at me. I looked at the door of my house, I must have been frozen. The police man was a young man, yet a police man. In those days there were no civilian police, it was just a department of the army. He was questioning the activities of a child while dressed to go to a war.
“Where is your house?” I felt like I was a defeated enemy.
“Do you have any sisters?”
I said yes, I did. I had 4 sisters.
I did not say anything more, and I noticed he walked behind me as I started to move. As soon as he was sure where I would go, he stopped and walked away. The question of my sisters nagged me, was I saved because God gave me sisters? I felt like I had sold something precious to preserve something precious.
Looking back I knew why he asked me. The police demanded respect from the lowly citizens, and reveled in the power to act above everyone. The young police officer was establishing his network to further the promiscuous dreams that he was promised by the soldiers in his regiment.Why did I not realize it then, when my drawings were, of all things, of nude women? Perhaps my mind would not allow the thought of it being involved with nude women. A sister can never be a nude woman. My breath was heavy when I finished the drawings and realized immediately that I had entered a place where children were not allowed to play.