Enjoy it out there he says to me as he’s slipping on his shoes after our session. Last day of Indian Summer he continues, voice trailing head moving his eyes already towards the door where we both can see that smacking blue sky clarity-light. His enthusiastic Santa Claus jolliness sits on the air between us. I am proud of him. We’ve been sitting together for 18 months now in spiritual and recovery mentorship. Our weekly conversations edge from the practical always into the introspective. Yes, I think. He’s right. Last year this week I was on the beach sweating in 80 degree heat, then that Nor’easter came through and the rain broke the temperature and it was never hot like that again in 2018.
Tomorrow it will rain, and the heat will wash away. He and I say our goodbyes and this message from him sinks into my body. Instead of leaving my office and taking my computer business to the coffee shop, I head into town and loose my shoes in my car, walking side streets then the boards on my bare feet til I hit the beach. Then the gushy line of beach mud from 4th street to the Pier. It is not a long walk, but the low tide sand bars are there and have made current pools of crystal teal changing into and from opaque blues and sea foam. My spirit gives that breathy sigh that only the ocean can ever provide.
I think about the first short story I ever wrote. I was away on scholarship at the fancy writing school, where (and when, how) my Destiny and Delmarva collided. It was 21 years ago, half my life. Probably right now 21 years ago: I remember feeling dancy and angsty, October all through my soul. It was the first time I ever fell in love with a river and dusk. That story was called Pier One and it was about Beach City. I wasn’t clean yet–in fact, for all I knew in October 1998 wine drunk each night and thinking about once more the harmlessness of maybe smoking weed again–I had no idea any of that would ever come. Pier One looked in to the future though and predicted all of the deaths, including Kev, that in two short years would begin.
There was a shimmer of gold I sawfelt running into me from the aqua to blue to foam pools today. I didn’t walk all the way to underneath the pier, just opened my spirit and let the coast roll flow.
I hope I can remember that, come the rain.