In and out and/or in and out

A disoriented scuba-diver jumps from the rim of my mug into the deep of the green tea it holds. As she sinks, the air she exhales rises in shivering clouds every few seconds, breaking the surface of my once uninhabited drink. A few rays of sunshine pour through the window, they lance the mug, travel through the liquid, but not far enough that I can intuit what the diver will find in the murky depths where the dregs of tea leaves lay.

/ What happens then? /

A) I keep going on about my day, mindful that the diver is in my tea, and wait for her to climb back out of the mug in her own time. {She tells me her story and about the things she has encountered}.


The moment the last of her body had been submerged, she ceased to remember what was before this wetscape. Her memory was reborn, all stimuli were received anew, without pre-existing association. As she sank deeper into the now tepid water, she could hear thrumming reverberations passing into the different densities that existed in this fluid. Fragments of leaves passed by her in increasing numbers. The descent became slower as she waded through forests of these remains. The goggles she had been wearing floated away and her mouth let go of the oxygen tube. Eventually she found a clearing. She lay and breathed.

With closed eyes, her mind conjured streams of emotion and light; voluminous sound travelled about her bones in intervals; there were goosebumps all over when she felt the nibbles of fellow tea-dwellers accompanied by the sudden rush of a cold current.

My diver friend, recounting all this, seems stifled. With wide eyes and a choked sigh, she reclines back on the rim, throws an arm over her face and chuckles cynically. She says you cannot know; you have to come down there with me. She says the language of the water and the language of the electric beings and the language of the tealeaves and the language of the light—they are not telling you one thing, they simply tell—nothing more, nothing less. She relays this to me one word at a time, slowly, looking for each sound; with every articulation she seems to be disappointed, but keeps talking—

The medium within which she had dissolved became cooler
with the hours; time was nowhere but in the changing temperatures. Her body and her thoughts were liquid and so as she cooled, they slowed their rhythms to match the pace of this abyss. An eternity later, the tea at the bottom began to recall an original journey, a downward dive performed by the being that had been. The inkling of an ‘outside’ and a ‘before’ crept up her spine. It was inevitable. An upward surge swam towards the soft light that had always existed above, a form becoming denser in the current. Desegregated, the diver resurfaced. With the first desperate gasp, all memory from before the immersion was violently restacked into her.

She feels heavy, she tells me. Air does not support her weight in the same way tea did. Words do not support a story in the same way the thrumming did. There is now a feeling of being inside something, inside the boundaries of her own skin, that she had long forgotten about. No longer is she a density in the fluid and no longer is experience a fold in the intensity of its vibrations. Now, there are things. One thing after another. Order. Contrary to the information her returned memory provides, she does not feel like she is one of these things.


B) I accidentally drink the tea, {the diver has a wonderful time exploring my insides}, climbs back up my oesophagus and throat, then out of my mouth. {She tells me her story and about the things she has encountered.}

C) I accidentally drink the tea, {the diver has a wonderful time exploring my insides}, and sadly gets pissed out into the toilet. I rescue her from my urine. {She tells me her story and about the things she has encountered.}


Inside the stomach in me she saw proteins being broken down, then synthesised, she dwelled in my inner acid juice and watched it make a pulp out of the things I had ingested. She slid down the viscous walls of my digestive tract.

Everything in her sight was involved in a continuous grouping and splitting, each resulting component was being redistributed among other clusters which in turn produced new ingredients that would then bond with neighbour ones and the process goes on and on and on—

A frenzy of movement surrounded her, never-ending collapse and reconstitution, no two distinguishable things ever stayed the same for long. Nothing is stable, everything is in motion. Memory does not serve her for much because nothing is recognisable a few seconds after she has understood something.

               She feels organic. She is excited to keep moving.


D) I accidentally drink the tea. The diver has a wonderful time exploring my insides, but sadly gets pissed out into the toilet and flushed away. She discovers a whole new world of underwater ecosystems that is vaster than she could have ever imagined. I never hear her story or about any of the things she has encountered.