The Waves

“When I was a child,” the Knight began, “that is—I used to live on an island, by the shore. Whenever a storm came, the ocean would churn and crash against the seawall, and from my tower, I would stare out the window and watch the waves come in. I remember—there was this old man, a crabber, who lived alone by the sea. Whenever a storm rolled in, which was often, he would go out to greet it.

“He would stand on the rocks and the swells would come up and meet him. Ten feet, five feet, three feet—never quite reaching him. Every time a storm came, there he was, on the shore.

“When I was a child, I thought he was a wizard, keeping the water back, keeping the kingdom safe from harm. But now I am grown and I have come to realize that he was in love with that wine-dark sea. He was drawn to it, the beautiful, deadly sea. The crashing waves, the boiling surf, the rumbling of the breakers. They mesmerized the old crabber.”

“What happened to him?” asked the Princess.

“One day, a swell broke over the seawall and over the crabber, pulling him under the waves. It dashed his body against the rocks, killing him. He had loved the sea. But the sea, the sea was indifferent. The sea did not even notice him.

“Such is my love for you.”