You get used to floating, it is after all only a resumption of what we all once had and lost in the light. Even the sounds are the same: the thump and rush of blood, the dark static of the nerves, the soft cry of silence. The thing reaches toward the two faces which float like balloons above the wicker bassinet, their mouths curved to crooning, their eyes bright with expectation and urging. Once the child has clamped the father's finger he swings it gently to the rhythm of her unheard song. They so want you to sing along and yet you are lost in silence, although as yet you do not know it as such, thinking it only the medium you were born into, the jell of distant vision and the inward hiss and bloodrush.

Years move on above you like clouds. You look into the grimace and rage of the would be playmate who has been shouting at you through the blue haze of the playground. He scuffs the hills you've made with your fingers and the replica metal earthmover. You croon the song you think machines make, unerringly close (you are told) to the actual mechanical grunt. The bully swipes at the toy and your fingers with his foot. You float. He is angry that you do so.

You float untouched by anger or delight.

In the cafeteria once school began you see the eyes upon you, see the lips move, the tears and the laughter, the fright and disdain. Yet you hear nothing. It was the same finally when you sat at the boat launch, watching empty voices shout and hearing nothing. It was as if you were underwater (in time you floated beyond these ironies, beyond her reach though you long for her to hold you). You recall love like bright balloons.