Eddie woke up and found the sun glaring harshly into his eyes. He squinted, and then rubbed his balled-up fists against his face, blocking the intrusion of light. With purple spots still slipping across his vision, he took a look around, examining his surroundings. Eddie saw a strange and magnificent thing. Something for which he had no reference for comparison. In fact, he was so awed by the sight that he held himself perfectly still, as though he were afraid that movement would somehow dispel it's presence. What Eddie saw was a wide, black tongue of solidified something. It cut through the dirt like a frozen river, coming from a distance so far off it dwindled to a point, and stretching on beyond him just as far. Right down the middle of it was a belt of the brightest yellow Eddie had ever seen. And it ran the full length of that black swathe, splitting it right down the middle from end to end. It was truly beautiful, and left him gaping at it open-mouthed for several minutes, trying to imagine what it could be.
"It's just a road," a grumbling, baritone voice whispered from his side.
"Is it?" Eddie responded without taking his eyes away their point of focus. "It's beautiful!"
"That's what you always say..." the voice responded in a somewhat weary tone.
"Do I?" Eddie asked, this time turning his head to address the voice's source directly. "I don't remember."
A large whale with dark blue skin looked down at Eddie and met his gaze. It was propped up on it's haunches, like an amusement park dolphin doing tricks, and stood as proud and straight as a whale on dry land could. "No, Eddie," the whale grumbled in it's deep voice, "you never do." And though it was hard to tell from his large, broad features, one almost got the impression that the whale was sad.
Eddie was a somewhat odd person, in that he had no real memory to speak of. It wasn't as though he'd suffered a bump to the head, and was just now starting over, rather it was more of a continuous, ongoing predicament. Eddie saw things, he said things and he even went to places from time to time, but he never remembered doing so afterwards. It were as though his mind were a bowl with holes punched in the bottom for cooking pasta. No matter what occurred in his life, the memories he gathered always seemed to dribble out the bottom and disappear somehow.
There were only two things that Eddie never seemed in danger of forgetting. The first was his name, which in full was Eddie Lohim. And the second was his best friend, the blue whale that called itself Sven. You see, as strong as Eddie's forgetfulness was, his love for that somber whale was even stronger. By some means which neither he nor his friend Sven understood, he managed to hang-on to the most salient details concerning the whale. He couldn't remember things they'd done together, or places they'd visited side-by-side, but he did know the truly important things about his friend. For instance, he knew that Sven wasn't just some ordinary whale. No sir, Sven was a majestic blue whale from Denmark. This fact alone never failed to impress Eddie, for although he had no real idea of where Denmark was located, he was pretty sure it was far away. And just knowing that Sven had swam such a large distance to be with him was a source of great reassurance. Sven was a true and loyal friend; Eddie had no doubt about that.
It was now time for Eddie to get up and greet the day properly, just as the sun had done to him moments earlier. So he pushed himself up from the dirt beside the road, and took a look around. It was pretty bright outside, and Eddie found himself shielding his eyes with the palm of one hand. It was an unconscious gesture, and one which resembled a friendly salute to the world-at-large.
"Our first order of business, should be getting you cleaned-up, Eddie," Sven suggested in his slow, baritone voice. "Your whole back-side is wet with mud and dirty water."
"Is it?" Eddie asked as he reached back with a probing hand. "Oh, look at that! Such a mess..." he remarked, craning his head back to get a closer look.
The two of them looked around and realized that Eddie had been sleeping with his back-side planted in a puddle of muddy water. They could only assume that he had fallen ass-first into the puddle sometime during the night. The water looked as though it had been somewhat violently splashed outside the hole's normal boundaries, and the surrounding dirt was still moist from the water's spray.
As Eddie was doing his best to wipe the majority of the mud off his posterior, he realized that he was as naked as a newborn calf. Testing the veracity of his assessment, he squeezed his bare butt cheeks a few times experimentally. Then, satisfied that he was indeed prancing about in the buff, he turned and remarked as such to Sven.
"I'm naked, Sven," Eddie stated simply, sounding more confused than embarrassed.
"I noticed that," Sven replied, gesturing to Eddie's exposed backside with one of his large flippers.
"Well, what should I do about it?" Eddie shot back a little testily.
"Beats me," Sven offered, shrugging his massive flippers in a defeated gesture. "Whales don't wear clothes, Eddie.
"Oh yeah... right," Eddie responded, seeming a bit dazed as he looked down at himself. "Does that mean I'm a whale now too?"
"Hmm, well..." Sven thumbed his wide chin with the tip of his flipper, appearing to contemplate the notion. "They say the clothes make the man, so it stands to reason that without clothes, one stops being a man. And since whales are known to never wear clothes at all, perhaps a man who stops wearing clothes becomes a whale. That sounds logical enough," Sven nodded his head confidently, proud of his skills at reasoning.
"Well, how do you like that?" Eddie whistled in a surprised tone. "And to think that people said I'd never amount to anything. Why, a whale is just about the biggest thing one could amount too," Eddie finished with a broad, happy smile.
"Congratulations, Eddie," Sven slapped Eddie's back with one of his flippers and grinned as wide as a Buick was long.
Eddie stumbled forward a bit and smiled at the whale's friendly gesture. This put his leading foot a mere hair's breadth away from the edge of the road, and reminded Eddie of it's presence. He tapped it tentatively with one of his big toes, and then took a bold step forward and put his full weight on the warm, black substance. Then, having even more confidence, he put both feet firmly on the road and even hopped up and down a few times for good measure.
"What does it do, Sven?" Eddie asked, experimentally stomping first one foot and then the next.