Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Fog on the boardwalk

July 5, 1980

The fog swirls over the boardwalk like a warm, wet kiss, pressing up and inside of me with each breath I take.
This flimsy veil parts as my limbs pass through, revealing the subdued colors of seaside buildings beyond, each pointed edge protruding, and yet caressed.
The gray planks groan under my footsteps, muffled moans echoed by the seductive whisper of a sea I cannot see except in glimpses.
I walk through time as I push aside each layer and let each layer close behind me, always looking for something beyond this translucent fabric, something my fingers can curl around, my palms can hold.
The heavy air makes me breathe pant, a one man parade on this otherwise empty ocean side in Ocean City, New Jersey.
The wind, when it whips up, casts debris across my path, the detritus of the previous day when crowds filled this space, and devoured it, and its offerings to the gods.
All now is wet and raw as I push myself into it, invading it slowly, taking its salty scent in like a sneak thief stealing something previous I know I can never give back.
No hawkers announce anything this early on such a day, only the forlorned cry of invisible gulls, shrill voices filled with the same ache I fell.
Everything here is like an oyster, gray and filled with the promise of some secret treasure, some previous pearl I might find it I probe deep enough and long enough, though I search for simple pleasures in this world filled with pale shredded fog, aching less over the fate of humanity than my own humanness, seeking not wisdom, but a steaming cup of hot coffee that will open my eyes and perhaps let me see passed all the veils of illusion – some of which I have created for myself, some that others cast before me, the seductions of life, made more desirable because they are hidden from view, coming up like empty, pearl-less shells when I finally pry them open and devour the sweet meat they provide.
But this is not like the place where I live, even at the height of season, and people do not rise up with dawn on days like this, and the stores I thought would provide for me remain shut up, like closed eyes along that side of the walk as I walk, though I know somewhere in this, beyond the fog there is a place if only I walking long enough, press hard enough, and cast aside enough layers of fog.
There is a bit of justice in all this since I could not resist sneaking out of the house where she and others sleep, drawn out by my own sense of urgency, with the foolish belief that it might find relief here, when all I’ve found is a veiled world dancing before me, teasing me with flashes of real things beyond, but never revealing enough to satisfy my curiosity, always holding out some new promise behind new veils I must cast aside again, and again, while I breath deep the mists.
And yet, I would have it no other way. I do not want to see too clearly or believe that there is no promise for the future, even if it proves an illusion when I get there. Sometimes it is better to parade through a fog with the hope of finding something, than to know with absolute clarity that there is nothing to find.

And so I stroll this boardwalk looking for something I may never find, kissing and being kissed by a fog that perpetually seduces me. 

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