It was somewhere between midnight and the end of time altogether. One foot in front of the other, ambling down the unforgiving coastline my breath was shallow and my blinking was halfhearted.
I missed having a hand to hold. A chest to nuzzle into against the cold. Lips to kiss and a heart to call my own. I walked alone, bathed alone and slept alone. Even when I was warm I was cold; glacial, arctic.
I thought of laying in the sand and burying myself so deep that everyone would forget my name and how angular my nose is. Thought of wading into the eleven degree ocean without flinching and just floating away on the tide. I was raised by the sea so why not be taken by it?
Vast memories I’d rather not have clutched at my throat and threatened to strangle me stone dead. I let them rush at me from all angles and press me into the earth.
The first few days of spring had been beautiful. The stars shone bright with no cloud cover and the moon had been full night before last. It was glorious, it was a treat sweeter than my grandmother’s hazelnut meal birthday cake slathered in thick over-sugared serving cream.
Witching hour was upon me and all I could think of was you in the summertime.
I imagined us in our swimming costumes lounging on big, black beach towels beneath an enormous umbrella. I’d be going brown and resenting it. You’d be kissing my salty back and rubbing sun cream on my hard to reach places. I’d hold your hand even though we were already sweating and your smile would be brighter than the harsh Australian sun, I feared that if you stopped for even a second the world would go dark.
The tide crept up the sand, inching toward our little oasis until it hugged our toes and we laughed. I imagined that we’d be there all day. I packed us a picnic surprise complete with Dr Pepper and fairy bread and you’d ask me “what the fuck is fairy bread?”
I figured we would sprawl on the sand and swim until the sun went down then we’d just gape as the sky lit up in colours we’d never seen before. It would be magical and vibrant, then it would go black but even the black was bright and the stars would come out. Thousands of old souls gifting us their twinkle would make my eyes sparkle.
We’d moonbathe then and you’d sort of scoop my tired body off the ground into your arms for the most tender embrace of all time. Our mouths would get lost in one another and you’d chase all my clothes away.
Four a.m. came and passed but I was still lost in this silver stardust daydream. Just wishing it were warm enough to be true. I could fall hopelessly in love here, just trip and whoops I’m so far down this damn rabbit hole already.
My child’s new found footsteps became a march in time to self conceived music, it was wanting and deliberate but I had no idea where I was going or what I was doing. I was trying to make something sure, make something certain so all my uncertainty and agonising concern might flit away like the moths that seemed to keep bumping into me in the dark. I could barely navigate my way over the coastal landscape but it didn’t really matter. I kept falling over because I could still see you so clearly getting sunburn on your nose and pushing up your aviators. I got sand in my mouth and it was all gritty and glassy.
Trying to drink the last drops of sanity from my near empty glass I dragged my inadequate skeleton quaking and crumbling homeward. Every centimetre gained in distance marked the asphalt with skin and teeth, blood and entrails until my bones were being filed down to the marrow. It was a gruesome scene to behold, all the groaning haunted my path and left a ghostly chill in the air.
By the time I arrived home my bed appeared more empty than it ever had been. The sun was rising but I was so full of summertime dreams that it occurred wholly in greyscale and was utterly vague to me. I felt the softness of my sheets as they enveloped me but then they got all scratchy and angry. I was weary so I yelled at them and dropped into the car wreck of my unconsciousness.