The Sea

Down over the rocks to the sand we’d go, the breeze blowing away the anger between us. We’d grin at each other; all anger forgotten as soon as our feet touched the sand. Like kids we beat a path down to about two hours above the tide mark. We knew we’d have to move again, but we preferred it that way. We wanted to be right down where the action of the waves happened. Our chairs had pockets for our goodies to keep them up out of the waves. We always let the waves wet our legs before we’d move.

Spreading our towels and chair just so, we’d immediately open the cooler for a first sip of our favorite beach drinks; chilled clementine Izzy’s. Dripping with condensation and tart with juice; we loved to hear the snap and hiss as the cap came off the soda bottles. We always agreed that Izzy makes the perfect summer beach drink. We’d drop our bag of nuts and jar of dried pineapple chunks atop the cooler-cum-table between our chairs. We’d flip our feet free and flop into our chairs, staring out at the waves. Instantly, we’d get speechless, just listening to the water gurgling and sighing over and again. Wave after wave soothed our jagged edges, giving us a reason to comment in newly happy tones to each other about this or that tumbling in the waves. We’d watch the seagulls, which our neighbors called “Guilan.” Cavorting. That’s what we called the same birds our sister called “rats with wings.” Guilans cavort we decided. They were well worth watching, entertaining us with their gracefully brazen ways. We always liked “Guilan” better than the word seagull. Once a bird landed close by hoping the tube of lip balm might be a meal to snatch. We rescued it, laughing together.

Finally, we’d feel ready to talk. We’d revisit our argument of moment, but with the softer tones of the waves. We saw in each other the steadfastness that was always there between us. The waves always seemed to reveal this somehow. We never knew why, but when the frustration of our differences overwhelmed us, we’d head for the sea. Perhaps the waves encouraged us to return to the womb emotionally and so be softer, and more forgiving with each other. Perhaps, we just need to get away from the frenetic busy-ness of the city more frequently than we did. Perhaps it was just our demanding jobs more than anything else and we let it get the better of our better natures. Perhaps the sea was only our excuse to be loving again to each other; just the favorite destination. Maybe it wasn’t some magical healing in the ocean between us during those days at the beach. Maybe it was really our willingness to hold the magic between us more tightly. Maybe that willingness just showed up more when by the sea. We knew the burdens of modern life got to us. We knew that our differences rubbed us the wrong way. It’s true, in time, we invented reasons to be angry; just as we eventually invented reasons not to go to the beach any more. In the end, we built an insurmountable wall between us. It was our fatal flaw as a couple and this made us bitter with each other over the years. Time went on and we eventually split, but not at sea. Never at sea were we in conflict. There we cavorted with Guilan and we gave our hearts into the wave’s safekeeping. The sea gave us back each other time and again. Would that we had never given up visiting the sand and the waves. When we took that flowing liminal place inside of us, we always resolved any disagreements we had… at least we did until we stopped visiting the sea altogether. That’s when we dried up and blew away.

“In the end what we remembered was…” is the beginning line which prompted this story. It is pure fiction and is a product of my work at Goddard BFA program in Creative Writing Fall 2013-14.

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