Here, There be a Writer

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Happy F***in' Valentine's Day: A Story

I remember when the sky was a slate grey. There were clouds. Everywhere there were clouds. Looking like cotton balls coated in grey paint and nary a hint of blue. It was February. It was cold and grey.

I was sad. The wind pushed against my pea coat, while my canvas shoes sunk into the sand. Wishing that it wasn’t true.

One Step.
One Step.
One Step.

Into the sand my feet sinking as I walked.

And the shale rocks littered the bare beach. I can smell seaweed and rotting fish across this desert of sand and rocks. And there in my hand I cupped a good sized rock, all flat and perfect. I feel my hand grip it tightly and the edges feel sharp. I am not really paying attention.

The wind playing with eddies of the lake water, ripples rising to the surface, and making a deep blue and grey mosaic.

And all I can see in the images swimming before me, her face swimming in the ripples of the water. I can feel the air wash over my arm as I fling the piece of shale into the lake.

The image is broken.

One Skip.
Two Skip.
Plop!

"Damn," I said no one, but a seagull passed overhead. It was the only other life on the beach. Its call echoed across the waves and sounded like her voice. I look down to find another piece of shale, but there are also pieces of green and blue beach glass lying nearby, like jewels. I feel the impending tears as a swallowed hard. It what we did, gather beach glass early morning before the crowds appeared.

My hands scooped up a handful of wet sand, the clumps fall to the beach as I pull out the glass pieces. Blue. Milky-White. Amber. Green, like her eyes. I threw the sand to the ground and the glass went flying. I cursed myself. Sand clings to my hand. The lakes laps at my feet.

Crouching on the sand, the seagull cries, leaving an echo across the beach. I scoop up another handful of sand. More glass, finely worn pieces, blue, brown, milky-white. My mind wanders…

…Absentmindedly I grab a piece of shale, pull back I let go.

One Skip.
Two Skip.
Plop!

"Should have known," I said to the lake, excepting so other response but not getting anything. I started walking along the shore. “I should have known that she wouldn’t want to…” I could hear her voice, somewhere; the jokes and commentary that we would speak of while walking these beaches.

Looking down there's piles of seaweed, driftwood, and an occasional dead fish. I picked up a rock and lobbed hard it into the lake.

Plop!

I was thinking about her again. I could almost smell her body wash and the softness of her skin. It would have been a great month, if only… “Would you ever consider?” I asked.

I looked down and found another piece of shale, worn by the lake water; suddenly it was in my hands and then flying across the air.

One Skip.

I saw her face, there next to me, also skipping stones with her auburn hair blowing around her head. Her lips curling in a laughing smile. I could have kissed them. I wanted to.

I loved her. Her everything, I remembered now. It was the way she laughed, or the way she sang just a little off tune. “I wish…” I murmured. Not in anymore…The cold wind startled my revelry.

Two Skips.

The world slowed.

I turned. I saw her standing there. “But I thought…” I stammered, rushing across the sand. I reached her, “You came?” I grabbed a hold of her and kissed those lips. I felt the warmth and tasted her chap stick. The warmth filled me up to the brim. And there were her arms, pulling me closer. My mind ran with the thousand possibilities in that moment. I felt my lips on hers, her tongue in my mouth, searching. I let her. Finally.

That kiss.

Three skips.


That kiss.

And I was again cold and shivering and feeling very alone. I stared out into the expansive void of the lake; steel blue and slate grey sky. I was still alone.

This place was special. Not just because of her, but because it was a beautiful place. One could lose yourself. Find yourself. Be yourself.

I turn.

One Step.
One Step.
One Step.

I turn.

There she is, raising her hands to my face. Sand covers her fingers; I feel the scratchy sand against my cheeks. The wind is blowing, but I don’t feel it, not even cold now. I am warm. Leaning in she kisses me with soft lips; lips locking, soft, tongue, and arms wrap around, pulling her closer.

“Happy Valentine’s…” I whispered between breaths. There was no answer, but I continued to kiss her, warmth rising steadily. “I love you…”

Plop!

My fingers feel cold. The wind picked up. I am aware, reality sets in, and there is nothing in front of me but sand, lake, and a single gull calling overhead. There are tears and sand streaked upon my cheeks.

I turn.

Plop!

I knew it. "Happy F***in' Valentine’s Day!"


Plop!

2 comments:

  1. There are some great details here--the colors of the sea glass, the scent of her body wash, the taste of her chapstick. Very powerful stuff.

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