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Vertical Prose


February 8th, 2010

I was walking along a beach @ 10:52 pm

I was walking along a beach
it was a cool spring day
clear blue skies...
no, grey. it was one of those cold blustery autumn days
so I wasn't as prepared as I might have been
clinging to the idea of warmth from the recently departed summer
I just wanted to feel enveloped by nature
the sun on my skin, the sea air
but no sun, and the air was nippy
little nips
biting
I hunched my shoulders against it
alternating my hands in my pockets, sharing space with my phone and pens and oil bottle and gripping my hands on my wrists, trying to fold them into my sleeves
that weren't quite long enough...
still wanting to be there
walking along the water
it all seemed like a good idea
but I was getting sand in my shoes
and knew I'd freeze my ass off if I went barefoot
slogging through the loose sand
coz I didn't want to risk getting wet walking close enough to the wave line for the sand to be hard

my eyes were squinted into the wind
my hair was whipping around my ears
I'd begun to wish I had just let them take me home in the car

but time alone is good, right?
Right? (I cough into my sleeve)

there are few people out here today
always the dog walkers
joggers
and couples
a fisherman way down the beach
there's a girl up there smoking a cig
she might be waiting for someone
or getting a breath of fresh air from someone

the air feels good, refreshing
if it were just a but warmer

I step up my pace, my legs are burning
so I walk closer to the water
and tuck my head against the wind
watching the trash collected in the seaweed on the edge of the dry sand
fishing thread
junk food bags
logs, branches from somewhere
dead fish... or something?

then
in a little space seemingly natural
a little altar of lighter and malboro reds on a large flat piece of driftwood
I look up to see who it belongs to
whip my head around and see the fisher, I'd passed him 100ft or so ago, didn't notice
must be his
I turn to look back at them
the wet sand under my feet
as a wave encroches...
it's gonna it my feet
I step up
it's gonna hit the smokes
I dip down and snag them
and the lighter
just before the water rushes over them

got my left foot, damn it.

hair in my eyes, I turn around and walk back over to the fisherman
he's at least a decade older than me
looks heavy and weary
i call out to him as I approach and ask if these are his cigs

he looks really confused
I explain I saved them from the ocean
he might be drunk
he looks affable, and sad
grateful, he slowly takes them from me
and looks back out at the water
then pulls out a smoke and lights it
instantly shaking his head and looking up at me, offering the box to me

I don't like malboro's
but take one and the lighter
I have considerably more difficulty lighting it in this wind
but am glad I won't actually have to inhale much: the sea air will smoke it for me

I ask him what he's fishing for
he shrugs and mumbles something I can't hear, as he takes the lighter back and looks out at the sea

he asks me if I'm from here
I tell him No, from...
he says he'd been living in Michigan
but came back out here when his girlfriend left him
I wonder if this is an invitation
but he honestly looks so lonely and confused
I'm sure I could steer him any direction
but don't feel like I have the heart for that ride right now

I tell him Good Fishing
he thanks me and our eyes hold eachother for a minute

I spin around and continue charging through the gnawing wind and slogging sand
glancing up at people as I pass them
but doing my best to avoid eye contact with anyone but the ocean

she's wants the same thing everyone else wants
but she's so big I really don't have to worry about disappointing her
she's got all the time in the world

I just have to get back to their house before my heart freezes



.iP
 
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