The Sand Beneath My Feet

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Wrapped in a bright yellow sarong, I light the doorway of my ramshackle hut. The sun is beginning to brighten the sky and I can see the magnificence of my morning view. There it is,  my bliss. My light. My life. I carry a freshly cut piece of coconut in my left hand. The white milk drips and is sticky on my fingers. I lift it to my mouth and bite at the chalky sweetness and chew slowly.

Waves crash and my heartbeat flutters. The constant motion of the sea makes me giddy. It’s like the hustle and bustle of city life without being constantly run into by people. All of them on some kind of mission. Going nowhere, but everywhere. All at the same damn time as me.

But here, I’ve a feeling of unmitigated peace. My smile is as radiant as the bronze color of my skin and the blonde shimmer in my hair.

My family can’t quite believe that I made the transition, but where else would a budding novelist go? The feel of sand beneath my feet is finer than any red carpet that I could ever wish to walk on.

The wind picks up strands of hair that have fallen from the messy pile that I’ve carelessly placed upon my head. Sea spray settles on my sun dappled nose and cheeks.  I glide my tongue along my bottom lip and taste the tang of salt and whisper, ‘I’m home.’

Meggie teases that my freckles are age spots, but I don’t care. I’ll keep wearing sunscreen and pray that I keep aging gracefully. Who am I kidding? I will age, whither and die. It’s inevitable, and a necessary part of life. Until then I’ll write a story, or 1000 of them. However many I can.

I wend my way to my favorite spot, where I pray for inspiration and understanding. I lay pen to paper and let the words rush out of me. While all around me the waves tumble, seagulls call, winds blow and my heart soars.

When the Words Stopped

Hate leaves ugly scars, love leaves beautiful ones. 

~Mignon McLaughlin, The Second Neurotic’s Notebook, 1966

Madeline knew one day the words would stop. That Ian would move on. That she would too. Today she decided it was time. Time to put away the love notes and drink a bottle of sweet wine. The autumn air is crisp and it’s close to sundown. She grabs the wine from the fridge, uncorks it and walks out to the end of the dock. She looks at Ian’s words one last time. Then starts folding the pieces of paper into little boats.

She asks herself, “where the hell did I learn to do this, and how come I still remember the process?”

She slugs the wine right out of the bottle. Figures, what the hell, there’s no one here to see her do it. To tell her no. Of course not many men have been brave enough to say that to her. She knows she can be kind of a bitch. Why does that thought bring a smile to her face? After the boats are made, Madeline rolls over and lays on her stomach. Then places the little boats in the water. The setting sun is the color of butterscotch and it makes her pale skin glow. Her fingers become chilled by the lake water, but she keeps them in it all the same.

Once the letters have all set sail, Madeline sits back up. She takes her shoes off and dangles her painted toes in the water. Her foot touches on one of the boats and pushes it further away from her. She thinks of Ian, and all of his great words. All of the sweet, sexy, dirty and sometimes hurtful things he said. Some of the words are hers too. She tries not to think about him. What he meant to her. All the wonderful things they said they would do. Really, it was her that said what they would do. He just went along with her plans.

He’s where he’s meant to be and  she’s sitting on a dock, swilling wine from the bottle and throwing away their love letters.

She says out loud to no one, “this night sure does suck!”

With the wine gone and the letters sailing away, she wishes for him one last time. Whispers to the night air that she loves him still, gets up from her spot on the dock and heads back into the house. She grabs another bottle of wine, uncorks it, and then sits at the kitchen table. She looks at her hands and then the tears begin to spill from her eyes.