Friday, June 27, 2014

A small beach with green stairs

July 4, 1980

Green painted wooden stairs descend to a short narrow beach bordered by sharp, grey wet boulders on one side and the slimy spikes of rotting waterlogged wood on the other.
The small beach with coarse sand limits the number of people who can use it, crowding everybody into a box-like space.
I can hardly breathe despite the still breeze gushing in from the sea, and I wonder why we came to this place when we have the whole ocean before us.
This thing emphasizes the differences between us.
I am uncomfortable with the rush waves, the regulation that beats this beach with each beat of my heart, so regular that there is little room for anything else.
My heart beats at its own pace, and resents being forced into a box like this, just as it resists beating to the tick of a clock, the regular routines of when to rise or go to sleep, when to punch my time card in, each tick of clock or lick of wave, closing me into some existence that is not existence at all.
All this seems too small to me, and I think, there must be some way to live my life without being forced onto small beaches like this, to be worn away over time by the steady beat of the waves like the rocks are, turned into tiny grains of sand, fated to fade.
I need to live for myself, a statement that sounds selfish when I think on it. I need more control over it and its habits, and find myself feeling the intensity of the seagull cries as they weave in the air overhead.
I have always been foolish in this way, resisting being put into any box I haven’t chosen for myself, or limited to boundaries other people set for me.
She likes the regularity and predictability of such a world as this, being able to calculate what comes next, if not always, than for the majority of the time, like an insurance broker setting odds over what calamity is most likely to strike, and by knowing this, steering as far from its path as possible.
But my life is an open beach with new ideas whispering across the sand with each gust of wind, filled with promises of something more, something grander, something I might not get but will never stop struggling for, and something I won’t find on a beach like this.

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