South Fakarava is a cold drink and my first day is dream pop. I wake up after visions through the night that I am hunting for a purple pearl in a cold lagoon. The dream told me, “Do not pick the pearl, let the pearl pick you.”
I Make coffee. Work. Say goodbye to Inapo. At 9:30 a.m. Vincent scoops me to dive. I’m still a floating witch, but I go down with less bubbles flying out of me.
The south pass is a mirror of sharks. Infectiously infested. Up and Down. We swim through them. We crouch inside a cave. We lay on our bellies. We watch the sharks glide above us.
Florescent fish flounce in and out of pockets of coral, like fairies. I see two of them kissing. I like it. The affection. The romance. I find out later that when fish kiss, they are fighting. A battle between lips.
You know what I like most about this life below? It’s speechless. The water world is a realm where vision is queen and thoughts can form uninterrupted by words, so romance remains romance.
The swimming man told me that a diver recently got bit by a moray eel in the pass. Put his hands on a piece of coral that the eel was nesting in. The current is strong and sometimes I have to hold coral in the coral garden, so I look for eyes before I touch.
After I drip dry, I row Daisy to Tetamanu- the motu on east side of the pass. There are huts made of wood and palms. Patterned sheets flow out of windows. There are more dogs than people. A woman is blowing bubbles for her toddler. She’s wearing a bra and shorts and has her shirt wrapped around her head. Her skin is the color of the midnight moon and she is more beautiful than the sky.
I walk until the motu ends. Running from loose dogs. I meet a man who is meowing. He is looking for his cat named Moana. She is black and wears a pearl necklace. “She must be on another motu,” I say. And he says, “Yes, but then that means that she swam there.” His face is flat. “I’ve grown very attached to her,” he says.
I row back against an outgoing tide. I stop at mooring balls to breathe and meow for Moana. I wonder if it was her pearl that I was searching for in my dream?