I had the man without skin in my mind for quite a while, and I thought I would go back and visit him. At first, we were in something like a cave. He seemed to be made of fire. There was a cascade at the entry of the cave, and we were facing it. “How could I go through this water without extinguishing myself?”, he asked me. I didn’t know what to say.
Then we were on a small island, surrounded by sea. We could see another island nearby, and even some people at a distance, on boats or ships. “I have tried to build a boat, but it always catches my fire and it is destroyed and I am extinguished, and then I am reborn, but I cannot cross to the other side…”. “So what do you do?” – I asked him. “I wait for help” he shrugged, and we sat down onto the sand.
Out of a sudden, we heard a great noise and the ground was pulsating, like a thousand drums. And I saw a herd of wild horses rising out of the sea, and it reminded me of ancient depictions of Poseidon riding his chariot of hippocamps. “You will see” said the skinless man of fire.
I enjoyed watching the horses roaming about, they were beautiful, powerful and free. Then one of them slowed down and came towards us. We stood up. “Come” – said the skinless man, and we took the horse, and off we went, running with the rest of the herd, racing with the winds, on top of the oceans… it was thrilling, intoxicating.
At one point, we ourselves became horses, too. Then the skinless man said “now maybe we could try and head towards those shores”. We became riders again, and our horse was hesitant, not sure what to do, part of it wanted to go on roaming with the others, and the other part wanted to help us, it was getting agitated… it was impossible to tell what was going to happen.
Suddenly, the horse was calm, joyful, even. I noticed someone on the beach, it was the Siberian man coming towards us, smiling. Our horse was still standing on top of the water, and it was starting to walk towards the man. He was in the water up to his chest when we met, they greeted each other gently with the horse, and then we all went to the shore. When we were there, the skinless man turned into a hawk and flied away. “Oh, but you are silly, what was all the fuss about if you can fly?”. The Siberian man turned to me “s/he can only do that when I am with him/her” “And why aren’t you with him all the time?” He started to laugh. “Well, s/he has to come to me.” “But how can he come and find you when he’s made of fire and there’s so much water all around? can’t you go and help him instead?”. The Siberian man laughed again, and he laughed and laughed. “What? what’s so funny? won’t you answer my question?” – “I already did” he said, smiling, shaking his head.