Reminder to self – throw out dead fish.
There I was suffering the slanted shoreline against my pt’s advice, but taking it sort of easy, not like a 3 hour walk, just 30 minutes or so on the sand. Then I laid out my towel and did yoga, moderately, everything glorious blue and beauty crashing everywhere. Ellwood closes out between the snowy plover reserve and the slough when the tide gets really high, depending on the moon, so I usually try to go around low tide. I like to walk far to the point where the cliffs of rock meet the ocean; no matter the phase of my mood, I feel better when I get that far. Sometimes I see sole people standing on the cliff, watching me from above. I hide under my hat, pretending not to feel uncomfortable that they are watching me the whole length of the shore. Sometimes I am dancing to the music in my own head, dance-walking, I must look crazy singing, even when I feel really good.
There you were tall, dark longing, smiling big like a boy with his dog. Clearly no longer a boy, I recognized you not from your over-inflated pectorals, but from your big floppy pooch who hardly even scared my little bitch. I had a moment of silent panic, still in my pose. Not wanting to indecently expose myself, I sat back on my heels. The beach was starting to shrink with the breaking waves getting bigger, or maybe just closer. You had no choice but to walk just in front of my position, otherwise big dog snowy plover docent might scold. It would be more awkward to pretend I didn’t notice you, to not look at you and say hello as you passed, so close, but I wasn’t prepared for you to stop.
“Hi” you smiled into my eyes with that grin, again, I remember now, from the last time I saw you looking too eager, yet so fucking fetching. My heart skipped a few and jumped to my throat. Too close to wave, must speak words, I thought, but nothing reached my brain as I lifted my hand into a slow wave turned two-finger peace sign; what a dummy! I could practically cry, but instead I let out some sort of nervous laugh that sounded more like a sneeze-chuckle. This wasn’t going well, but what did it matter, I was still married. I had no reason to be nervous and weird and awkward, except that maybe that was just me, regardless of the man in front of me.
“Hi, sorry…” I sort of coughed out a little spit, trying to cover my mouth with one hand, what is wrong with me! I think I already asked that, too, what is the saying about doing the same thing over and over but expecting a different result? Jesus! I started to rise, thinking I might touch him, offer a handshake, which suddenly seemed way too weird on the beach. So I sort of stopped myself half-way up, but started to fall forward, down the slant I wasn’t suppose to be walking, into his bare upper body. I saw a face plant coming into that crevasse in his chest, maybe I could shift sideways, and just place my head in that spot where I noticed it would fit perfectly, just below and inside his lovely shoulder, toward his heart. All too optimistic, as my little dog chose this moment to become uncomfortable with his big, lovely, floppy one. Forgetting her leash was attached to my backpack, which meant as soon as she started to move the backpack would freak her freak out, and she would run like a crazy bitch. This triggered his big one to high-tail it after her, into the cordoned off snowy plover reserve area! Now this was all too much for both of us, strangers that we were, taking off together after our dogs. Trixie! I screeched after them.
India! he bellowed after his. How do you want me, how do you want me, Meg Myers lyrics lulled in my head.
India? that’s an interesting name, I thought, after we rescued our pups. I wonder what he does for a living, not that I would ask such an impersonal question, but he must be sort of worldly with a dog named India. “So you must be Ganeesha?” I almost said, but how stupid, and obviously I have no idea what constitutes people’s names who are from India. And now that I think about it, isn’t that the name of the elephant-looking goddess? He looked like someone who grew up here, like an old high-school boyfriend, but not old enough, or young enough, exactly, either.
Je ne vous pas travelier… a puis j’amore… the Sympathique lyrics of Pink Martini were fumbling in my head. Instead I said I liked his dog’s name, “how did you come up with it, India?” We were laughing and on normal talking terms now.
“Oh, my ex-wife named her, we met there, in India. And we also both worked at the Independent, our local, weekly news rag,” he said like a writer. Great, I thought, this couldn’t get any worse now could it, another sad writer. I don’t think my relationship could handle another one of us, but I nodded, I knew it, of course, we refer to it as the Indy. And I wasn’t loving on the Indy these days, either. With their half-assed non-endorsement endorsement of P, they obviously didn’t do any real research on the subject of fracking; I realize now they are not a real newspaper, as in the old sense of them. They are an arts and entertainment rag, maybe good for some gossip and pirate-ship-wine-guy writing. They have no business getting into political endorsement, and if they want to enter the arena, they better do some real old-fashion research. “It’s funny,” he said, seeming sudden to me after getting lost in my thoughts, “but I think I remember you from somewhere else.”
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