We fell with a splash on a pockmarked limestone rock. Urine filled a pocket in the rock. My friends and I floated about in the yellow liquid until the sun shrank the tiny pool. As the water evaporated, we were forced closer and closer together. Many of my friends held on desperately to complete strangers. It was in this chaos that I saw Salina. Cool and always positive, she had calmly watched me for awhile and when our eyes met, she was ready with a smile and a wink. The attraction was mutual and immediate. I reached out to her, and she grabbed for me. Then the last few molecules of water evaporated and we lay together on the rock, bound tighter than I had ever been bound. It was glorious. I could not remember feeling this complete.

“Jacob,” she asked me one hot day, “can we stay like this forever?”

Never as positive as her, I shrugged my shoulders and whispered, “I hope so.”

On that rock, one beautiful day traded places with another one for several months. Then a morning sun rose dismal and dreary. Roiling dark clouds swelled and turned in the sky. Thunder rumbled in the distance, and the rock beneath us trembled with the pressure waves. A big fat raindrop hit the rock. Then another. And another. Salina and I were lifted up. We spun a couple of times. I held on to her as tight as I could, but the water forced us apart. I reached for her. She reached for me. Then the water poured out of the rock pocket and carried her away. I watched her disappear over the lip and could do nothing but stare.

Several minutes later I also flowed out of the pocket. Then glided along the ground. Every few meters my stream grew bigger and bigger until it spilled over a large boulder and plunged into a raging white water river. For most of a day I was forced down the mountainside by the water. Finally the river widened out and the crashing sounds became a soft whooshing whisper. Eventually it slowed down, and I was pushed out of the main current and spiraled round and round in a small eddy. I shared this space with foam and sodden sticks. It was the first time I could really think about the love that I had lost. I heard others around me in the same situation, but there was nothing any of us could do about it.

Months passed by. I was slowly pushed down the river, coming to rest from time to time in some slowly turning eddy. I almost forgot about Salina, but nothing came along to replace her or the emptiness she left. I just got used to being alone. Sure there were others I could interact with, but for whatever reason I just could not bond with any of them.

Then one day, a shadow fell across the water, and a pair of hairy lips sucked me into its mouth. I flowed down his throat. A gentle squeezing pushed me into his stomach. I stayed in that acidic environment for a while, and then unfortunately found myself in actual shit. Being negative and depressed by nature, I was not surprised that this had happened, but I was still disappointed.

As I lay there feeling sorry for myself, I was grabbed, trussed, and carried away. For how long, I do not know, but eventually I was set free. It was an amazing place. I saw old friends and met new ones. Sometimes I was free and flowed from one place to another. I had some pretty amazing interactions. Especially with one particular sweet thing, she really pushed my boundaries. Other times I just found a place to rest. Unfortunately, I was not completely free. Every now and then I was grabbed and hauled away to a new place and made to work for awhile. I got used to it. Besides, there existed a sense to things. An order. A plan. A rhythm. It pulsed through everything all the time. Sometimes it was fast; other times it was slow, but it was always there.

One day I heard a familiar sound. Attracted to it I moved in its direction. There she was, Salina…just as beautiful as I remember. She looked at me. She seemed confused.

“Salina?” I asked.

“Jacob?” she responded.

“How are you,” I asked?

“Fine. It’s nice to see you,” she said.

I stared at her and felt my heart break.

She touched me and said, “Look. Out there it was…different. We needed each other. In here…Well…I have things to do and…”

“You’re not attracted to me anymore,” I interrupted.

“Of course I’m still attracted to you. It’s just that…”

“It’s hard to get attached with all the available sweet and energetic options, right?” I said.

She smiled.

I returned the smile