From above, he was not even a speck. A nano-speck, indistinguishable from the iridescent plane of blue-green sea.
There had been an accident. He had found refuge in a rubber vessel with scant supplies and floated within on the whims of currents and crosswinds. At first he had been distraught – for the end of his life, the lives of his shipmates, the loss of friends and family. Then pain replaced sadness. Then there was anguish. And then misery. He bobbed along aimlessly, tormented by the sea and the sun. Death, he knew, was not far off.
And then something happened. A small turning over of some lever or switch in the mind, a mechanism not used much since the invention of rubber vessels and emergency supplies. Mired by the constructs of life he would be no more. He jumped ship. He swam for it. He did not decide to do it, he just did. And he swam a bee line through currents and crosswinds. And he braved without thought the attempts to devour him by a hundred sea monsters. And when the entire ocean conspired to suffocate him, he fought it off with all of his might. Some cosmic entity, it seemed, was intent on robbing him of his only treasure – his next breath. And so he used every next breath to secure the following one, and pursued his mindless goal through the chop and claw of the wine-dark sea.
And finally he made it. He pulled himself up onto the strand, his body a misshapen slab of driftwood, his mind a tangle of razor wire. He took a look around at dry land, hospitable to his uses, where he might settle and live out his life in peace.
And then something happened again. He turned back from the land and took once again to the hostile waters, becoming once more a nano-speck, indistinguishable from the iridescent plane of blue-green sea.