MR. CAMEO AND THE WHALE
For several years after his wife left him,
Mr. Cameo wanted to share his grief with the world.
He rode commuter trains, sat in bus terminals,
took his meals in diners and cafeterias,
looking for a chance to open up to stranger,
but he soon discovered that the world
was not interested in his pain.
With growing despair he began to hunger for the ocean,
but the bleak days of winter had arrived.
So he bundled himself up like an arctic explorer
and, seeking protection from the harsh wind,
stuck himself into a cleft of the rocks in the jetty
where he would moan like a walrus for his lost love.
One Saturday in February, wrapped up and moaning,
he dozed off in spite of the discomfort of the rocks.
Upon opening his eyes he saw a whale swimming up,
a pure white beluga. Stopping a few feet from the shore,
it lay on the sand and stared at him.
"I have seen you here for three months now,
and it is clear to me what is in your heart.
I know how you are suffering, Mr. Cameo, for I too have lost a mate."
Mr. Cameo was neither startled nor disturbed.
"Alas, you great behemoth of the deep," he replied,
"you are the only creature who has offered me any sympathy!"
Mr. Cameo wept freely and the whale whimpered with empathy.
Crying their hearts out together, the two formed a close bond.
After several weeks of this, Mr. Cameo, an engineer and inventor,
got back to work and created a radio that allowed him to talk
to the whale while he swam beneath the sea.
This went on for many more weeks.
In April, Mr. Cameo brought his date home early
so he could talk to his friend the whale.
"You talk to whales?" she asked. He never saw her again.
In May, after his period of mourning was over,
the whale rejoined his herd.
He did not tell them about Mr. Cameo.
When the other belugas asked him
about the device piercing his dorsal fin,
he told them mysteriously that it had a personal meaning.
It made him very attractive to the young females.
Soon he found another mate
and brought her to meet Mr. Cameo.
That was the last time Mr. Cameo saw his friend the whale,
but he still listens to him on his radio
and finds it a great comfort
to hear the singing of the herd.