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Accepting Salty Waves

Short story By: minusthematt
Literary fiction

"Adapting to/ embracing the summer and the beach while also adapting to/embracing myself". Best way I can sum that up :). Comments/reads appreciated.

Submitted:Jun 2, 2011    Reads: 64    Comments: 15    Likes: 9   

Last Edited: February 12th.

With the tiny bugs swarming my arms and taking turns nipping at me as I worked, and the unbearable heat that tortured and boiled my body, it was a hard task for me to remember how the summer weather was somehow a good thing. It was a yearly ritual really, because how can someone like that which transforms their normal routine into an uncomfortable sweaty mess, sends their favorite jackets into a box in the attic, and brings out the demon creatures that take turns suicide bombing themselves onto human skin.

And yet I still convince myself to embrace the season: a trip to the beach. How could exposure to the fierce burning sun and the clingy bits of sand help any? It squinted my eyes and left me drained. I still could not identify with the fond memories of summer or understand how I've come to associate good things with the miles of collective sand pebbles. Freedom? Finally breaking free of constraining socks and shoes and replacing that with mushy, scorching hot sand? No, I'm missing something.

Time to cool off and think. Leaving my girl at her towel as she naps happily away 'soaking up rays', I grumpily approach the freezing ocean, which teases me with its ice cold temperatures-- not swimmable. And then I lose the beach, lose the moment and I'm tossed into my own head; Thinking only of the prior few weeks which seem so distant. I was consumed day to day with 'critical thinking' and 'analysis' that brought me to and from bed. Triumphs really, daily, and yet altogether a failure as three weeks later I'm helplessly longing to love my freedom.

So I let the waves keep crashing, even if I have the power to stop them. I could make the entire ocean disappear. I could ruin anything. Anything that is perpetual is my myth; I'll find the way to kill it. The beach and the beautiful weather that brings out beautiful bare-skin and sunglasses, the fresh breeze and the promise of seafood and sizzling burgers down the street, I kill it. Whether I want to or not, I can take away anything. Give me something wonderful and I'll love it, ask me to keep it and I'm a criminal.

But with the breeze-less hell-hot weather I've been left with on that beach, I try to create something new. A replacement is all I need to once again enjoy the summer. Every summer comes and goes and every summer I need to create. But I can't. I'm flawed. I'll smash every sand-castle but I cannot supply laughter. I haven't created a damn thing. Useless. All I can do is stand here in my stricken summer, lacking the relaxation I long for, and bringing terror.

And then the water creeps over my toes and freezes me whole. I watch the sand shimmer as the water retreats back and charges up. Each plunge threatens to reach me with its shivering touch, and yet only some are successful. I notice the sun gleaming endlessly across the ocean. Crashes of waves abruptly making their mark and fading back into the water. And it's wonderful that I feel a small chill as sand blows past me, and she tackles me from behind, nearly knocking me into the water but holding me back, giggling.

We stand there and I smile, but I'm still lost. But now I'm lost in that ocean, rather than my head, really enticing me with it's clear shines for a swim. Just a few weeks ago this water was only graced by boats or the occasional crazy, and that's mostly still true. But it's warming up, really it is. And soon I'll be arm over arm, taking on waves and diving through loops. And yet salty, the water isn't perfect.

And as I see her stretching and yawning before she returns to her towel I suddenly realize I'm relaxed; that I'm happy. Even now the ocean lends a hand to me, continuing to sting my toes and keep me grounded. I really can't wait for the swim, and if it's salty, oh well. The water will never be good enough for me, but I shouldn't fool myself into thinking it isn't still mostly good, sometimes great, and even terrific. These waves: my take on me.


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