I wake up early and sit with my doubts in the pre-dawn purple hung over the sky. Traffic waves wash up and down the street, the reassuring rumble reminds me of my childhood beach, and down that tract, latterly the lake. Frozen in my memory, every grain is sharp, the edge foam crests perpetually, sky a vivid blue, hawks hung on currents, her hand on my shoulder, warm but for the cool, thin band of metal, silence taut between us, warn like a shawl. I sit a minute in the haze, visit elsewhere, ready myself for the day.
She sits on the sand letting the wind play with her hair, waiting for meaning to wash in on the tide. The dusky sun shines its half hearted rays around her feet, too concerned with keeping its head above the horizon to worry about others. Its light has no bite. She digs a soft, slender fingered hand into the sand and imagines its future. Glass, a vase, tall and slim, filled with tulips arranged with delicate precision. She pulls her hand free from the silt. Tiny grains cling to the moisture on her skin like a sandpaper glove. This is what it feels like to be alive she thinks.
As the sun relents, a silver sheen overtakes the waves and coats the beach. A chill sneaks quietly across the sand like the breath of the moon, asking the girl to pull her shawl tighter around her shoulders. It’s getting late she thinks, I should be getting home. I should be doing something. With a sigh, a perfect pitch to match the moon, she slumps her shoulders and falls back into the sand.
‘No,’ she sighs, ‘I won’t go.’
There’s no need. I make my own rules. My own choices, life. I make my own life.
‘I make my own damn it.’
The moon settles in its arc and looks down passively at the girl. The wind has stopped playing with her hair, finding fancy building banks of sand against her skin instead. Like a shipwrecked relic, the elements do their best to reshape her. Rivulets of sand trickle across her torso and form islands in the folds of her clothes. Grain after grain it marches and mounds against her body. She digs her fingers into the sand and grasps at its embrace.
‘You know me,’ she whispers, ‘because I’m part of you.’