On 16 June of that year the storms raised waves thirty feet tall in the same pattern, at the same bay, for the second time ever. The sand banks shifted and fish could not find its way on the sea bed. The shore moved into unrecognisable patterns and paths. The bay was only recognizable by its immovable promontories, Punta Del Este and Punta Ballenta. The gates between now and then opened. It was a moment when coincidences and expectations aligned to bring this dark, apocalyptic night of storm.
He shook throughout the night with every lightning bolt in nightmare. A mother’s hand giving him away, again, swapped with dreams of breaking bread with his brother and scenes of reunion. The lightings broke his heart like poverty. He dreamt he swam in waves reaching for the boat on which mother stood, getting there but never quite arriving until the waves gave him a mighty push.
The morning brought the sun’s relief. With first peek he rushed outside the house before the rest awakened. The scent of a passing storm still lingered. And as he walked toward the beach he noticed tree corpses, victims of violent winds.
He moved in disbelief close to the water. In a bay he no longer knew a mast showed its tip , the body of a ship deep in the water. And closer to the water’s lip, in new sand mounts, the mouth of a canon showed dark and heavy.
At this precise moment fate shifted like the earth. The letter N on the side of the canon meant it was something well sought after. A shipwreck once led by Nelson. It brought death to many men but promised rescue to this young man.
He often returned to the Bay on the same date to pay his dues to the waters that took him from naught to security. He was no longer shipwrecked.
One year he placed his arms around a woman’s belly carrying his son. At this other precise moment he looked at the sea and whispered, ‘Agamemnon’. A baptism in amniotic fluid, a steadfast name of a warrior, a name to remind of the turns of luck a man can have, just like a ship.
This spring we met Agamemnon Otero from Uruguay. This fictional micro story is inspired by our brief conversation about the story that led to him carrying this name, even if it is not exactly what is presented in this blog.