I still have a warm winter jacket from Chicago, and all it’s ever needed was a replacement zipper. I don’t wear it often here in SoCal, but when I do I marvel how an item was constructed so well that it’s lasted over 35 years, through many cleanings. Nowadays we throw everything away. Clothes and shoes are made cheaply and we get tired of them besides. Electronics and cars become obsolete and we’re forced to upgrade them with newer models. And it’s easy enough to pop onto a dating site and search for a replacement for your current partner.
One of the best things I ever did was give up dating. Five years on, and I’m so much less stressed. I no longer worry about what some man will think of my hair, my clothes, my face, my body, my interests (or lack thereof). If someone is judging me for these things, I don’t know about it, and it is bliss. Maybe some women don’t experience dating like this, but I did, and now I’ve made my escape. Freedom from worry over other people’s opinions is the best thing ever. I’m so happy I made this smart choice.
The jungle exploded in squawks and screams as the birds beat their wings and the monkeys leaped from vine to vine. Charles absorbed the cacophony, sweat dripping down his spine, took a deep breath, and smiled. This is what he came here for, escaping the corporate madness, to become one with nature and explore the mysteries of the Amazon. He noted the vivid colors and pungent odors, taking a moment to make notes in his journal. As he slipped the book back in his pack, a lizard slithered over his boot. Silly creatures. Behind Charles, the jaguar approached silently.
They say this beach is haunted, and though I don’t believe it, one spring I spent every day on the sand, just in case. And there she was.
With sea mist sparkling on her skin, she reveled in the waves. Some said she seemed like a witch, with her dark hair and mysterious eyes. She kissed me under a sky strung with stars, her hands icy cold but her lips soft and warm. I held her tight.
After Midsummer’s Eve, she grew pale and small, acting like she didn’t know me at all.
Waiting for the wave of slumber to pull me under, my mind wanders. Tasks left undone bounce like pinballs around my brain, keeping me awake, as my tired spirit aches for a break. I long for the nectar of forgetfulness, the slide into oblivion where the wreckage of the day shapes itself into incomprehensible dreams, half-written scenes. Instead, I twist in the covers, too hot, too cold, exhaustion blanketing my soul. Images and flashes, glimpses into the past, a mixture, a mishmash, open door, diamond sand, I’m almost too exhausted to accept the hand of sleep as it reaches…
Like a soldier in a war, he sends me a sugar report each morning. He outlines his schedule for the day and tells me how much he misses me. We discuss tentative plans for meeting, but it’s always so tricky to navigate the logistics. Yet I remember his kisses, hot under the summer moon, waves crashing in the distance, so I persist. It will be worth it, I insist to myself, when that day finally comes when we can be together in the sunshine, his hand laced in mine. For now though, he spends every night with his wife.
Golden moments swirl into indigo blue as night devours the afternoon hours. Just as surely, light creeps in early, and the blushing dawn finds darkness the perfect delicacy to breakfast upon. Time circles the tides as it will, and try as we may we can’t hold the sands still. When we flip the glass, the grains slip away into the past.
All we have is now, to dance as the waves roll over our shoes, and to kiss under the glow of the benevolent moon. Nothing exists except this, and death, forever encapsulated in every drawn breath.
The longest day brings shadows late, a warm breeze caressing my face. I can almost see you leaning against the ancient rocks, your half-smile welcoming me to the illicit night. Purple clouds swept the amber sky as we kissed for the last time.
I didn’t know it was the end, but you did. You gripped me tight; your eyes burned with a desperate fire. I remember how you said goodbye instead of au revoir.
No mortal man can suffice when you’ve been loved by an eternal. I gaze at the stars with a heart full of tears, still satisfied.
Too little, too late, missed the deadline, sitting on the sideline with a glass of plum wine. Watching the players parade onstage, I fade back in the thistle. Skin prickles, sun tickles, bees kiss, reminding me I still exist.
Not everyone has to be a star, or even given a bit part. Some participate from afar. Or opt out of the game, be a no name, create our own lane.
Still, before the day ends, I pluck a stem, give my dreams their angel wings, send them off on the summer wind, and then, wait for the faintest amen.