For a long time, I tried to write the story of an ocean.
You might have seen in its darkness the lights of some city, still glowing, eerie. The lights of St. Louis, or Omaha.
It was nocturnal. It rose up out of nowhere.
At dawn, it wouldn't be there anymore. . . it would sink away, a whisper. Nobody would discuss it.
At dusk in another part of the country, it would come again.
Cities glimpsed, unreal, in the ocean's night.
I never wrote that story.
Somehow it didn't feel like part of a story. It felt like -- it's hard to say what it felt like. A fable from another planet -- a planet like this one but a little more stoic. As if everyone there had a friend who died young, or a brother who had gone missing.
The first time I saw that ocean was in a dream.
In that dream I was in a museum. People were with me -- people I cared about, but I don't know who they were. They weren't real people. They got lost, they went away. The museum turned into a desert, the sun began to set, and the ocean came.