"The fact remains that getting people right is not what living is all about anyway. It’s getting them wrong that is living, getting them wrong and wrong and wrong and then, on careful reconsideration, getting them wrong again." - Philip Roth
I'm not a fan of pelicans, or the beach.
The cold winds.
The dark, storm provoking sky.
The sticky sand that clings to all the crevasses between your toes.
Open wounds in the feet from sharp shells and cornered stones.
I'm not a fan.
But if going to the beach means having your bony, skeletal fingers intertwining with mine, I'll go.
Your pale skin matches the sand.
Although, unlike the sand's perfectly smooth surface, veiling any sort of flaw, your skin differs.
Light green with yellowed centers.
A few scars, some brown from age.
One or two, new and pink, slightly elevated.
I brush my fingertips across the blue veins in your hands.
Your not the salty, flawless, beach sand,
but your my idea of perfect.
In comfortable silence we drift.
I think of how if you were to die, this beach we visit so frequently would become my shelter. The only place I could sit in the quiet and wish your cold, clammy grasp was still clinging to me.
But I didn't want my mind to wander that far ahead.
After all, it could be you sitting alone on this beach one day, thinking of my absent presence.
Or perhaps you wouldn't visit at all.
I look up into your dark gray eyes.
Your crinkled, worried forehead.
The specks of dirt and unshaven beard growing in around your chin.
Soft, light pink lips.
Lighter than mine.
It all comes into focus as the high rocks and sea water fade and blur into the background like some sort of photograph.
"This could win the pulitzer." I sigh.
And you smile in agreement.
You understand everything about me.
I wonder if you know me more than I know myself.
I wonder if everyone does.
We find a rock to sit on.
It's a smooth stone, low to the ground.
Our toes get washed in salt every 48 seconds and the air is absolutely clear, something they will bottle and sell in the polluted future.
We discuss this.
You always knew how to hold intelligent conversations with me.
1/3rd agreement. 2/3rds debate.
I hold your hand tighter and tighter.
I sometimes feel that if I don't hold on to life,
If I don't anchor myself down,
I will drift away.
And what an irrational fear, I agree.
But you know this, and you keep me here.
You protect me and reassure me that I'm not going anywhere.
And I wonder if you left me would I ever be able to find someone who can understand me as much as you?
The answer is no.
I grasp a little tighter.
Too light the green sea foam.
Too scavenging the sand crabs.
Too perfect the moment.
Too feverish the kiss.
You leaned down on your forearms, with me beneath.
Combed those skeletal claws through the strands of my white locks.
I could feel you everywhere.
Your grasp, your breath, your warmth.
You looked at me with intensity, pain and confusion, something I've never seen in a moment so intimate.
It was almost disturbing.
I didn't know what was happening in your brain.
You're clever with it.
You probably knew what was happening in mine.
The intensity in your eyes poured into the storm.
That's when the black rain fell.
All at once, all too fast.
I could feel ice drowning us and then... pulling.
So much pulling, from something so seemingly weak as a tide.
I clinged to the stone in the sand and you grabbed my ankle.
I wanted to pull you up.
I had a perfectly free hand.
But I watched your hurt, confused expression with resilience.
I shrugged off Poseidon and offered you to him.
You gulped in the dark water, shut your eyes.
Then you were gone.
I sat on the beach a little longer until the rain cleared.
I thought about your bony fingers.
I thought about you.
Perhaps I'll visit again tomorrow.
I looked around the forsaken beach.
Perhaps I won't at all.
Created: Jan 23, 2010Document Media