The day the Moustache left home

A story about the indignity a ‘Mo’ suffers during a spearfishing mission,

The sole purpose of my life is to be free to sit in proud display above a top lip – Mo. 

The sun is shining, a gentle breeze stirring in its warmth, all is right in the world. Excitement simmering in the background. Anticipation. The promise of another adventure.

Mo felt eager to explore this day. An assurance of fun, the thrill of controlled danger. Salt air, cold ocean, bright sunlight, new experiences. Mo was going spearfishing.

Imagination running wild, reality giving way to the hope of expectation. Limitless blue water. Fish, turtles, whales, mermaids?! Who can say what might be discovered deep below the surface?

Impatience, suspense, Mo quivered as only a moustache can, “hurry up!”

Suits, masks, fins, spears, weights, lines, knife, so much gear, so much preparation. Mo recognised none of this. Simply the frustration borne from ignorance.

Boat connected to car, and we were off! Music, a winding road, laughter. Glimpses of the ocean, it sparkled like a jewel on the horizon.

Beach, shore, waves kissing sand, on the boat now. Wind in hair, sun on face, eyes reflecting light as it ripples of the water. Sensing calmness, it tries to slow the body in preparation to dive.

Today Mo was at the spat farms – shellfish seeded onto lines, suspended into the depths. Mussell buoys. Rocking on the ocean swell. Gulls. Circling overhead. Fat seals. Lazing in the sunshine and fish – the BIGGEST KINGFISH that ever existed. Simply waiting there. Wanting to be speared and wrestled on to the boat. Let’s go!

Mo loved to swim. Loved the ocean. Sensations, freedom found within the swirl of the water. Weightlessness. Surrounded by a vastness yet feeling connected to it all.

Dive flag, crackling in the breeze. Spear, clipped to line. Line, clipped to float. Suit snug and fitted. Fins, embracing feet. Gloves, intimate with finger. Weight belt, hugging hips. Almost claustrophobic yet perfectly so but then, so rude! The indignation! A mask strapped tight to the face. Mo, crushed into darkness. Restrained between skin and rubber.

“How dare you?!”

The unheard voice of Mo cried needlessly into the black. A shock of breath, clamped off during the backwards fall into the water. Calmness being brought into reality, as the body relaxes into its new surroundings. A steadying of the heartbeat. Slow powerful kicks with long fins. Eyes of the hunter roaming along the mussel lines in search of its prey.

Slip below the waves and feel the pressure of the water starting to compress. Let the surface drift away. Amazing. Mo hated this. Unable to see. Unable to hear. Unable to feel. Unable to experience. Freedom. Mo wanted freedom!

So, Mo bristled out below the lip of the mask. Breaking the seal. Breaking free. Up to the surface again, water flooding into the space between face and glass. Mask tilted off to let the water drain.

“Yes, freedom at last!”

Then a firm tug on the straps. A tighter seal against the skin. Twice more repeated, the fight between the wearer and Mo’s desire to be free.

No whales were seen. Nor turtles or mermaids. Nothing could be seen or experienced except the tight discomfort of darkness.

Mo did not observe the silver schools of fish, shimmering as they swam the currents of the ocean.

Mo could not see the play of light that filtered through the chain jellyfish like slow motes of dust, drifting on the sunshine. Mo missed the thrill of excitement as a kingfish swam into view. The battle between fish and diver as the line ran taut between the two. The primal passion of the hunt, while knowing respect towards Moana and the gifts of the creatures within.

Mo only knew darkness. Annoyance. Discomfort. Fear.

The diver experienced light and shadow. Weightless wonder within slow movements. The comfort of being surrounded by the vastness of the seas, while feeling connected to it. The joy of the living as fear is replaced with freedom. A fish on the boat. A smile on the face. Happiness in the soul. Appreciation in the heart.

Mo left the house it knew that night, packed its bags and moved on. Preferring instead, to swirl down the drain under the sharpness of a razor.

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