It's been two weeks since I went to the coast to disconnect. That's been enough time to recognize what a beautiful and necessary time it was, and just enough time to plug back in and get stressed again. I have missed the ocean since my second day back.
I did some writing while I was there, which felt really, really good. It's not brilliant, and it's not deep, but I can't sleep, and so here you go:
I want more drama from the ocean. How presumptuous is that?
I wanted crashing waves, and I got them, I guess--when I closed the door to take a shower, I thought, It sounds like a washing machine.
I wanted the waves to be CRASHING: big, white puffs like angry clouds. But these waves just kind of sidle up, move along, and lick the shore.
This is what people love about the ocean, isn't it--it's so endless and so constant. I like watching these little waves curl; I love the curvature, the green. I love it so much I'm a little sad every time one crests, because it's over.
I sat in the bar and had an old-fashioned and a pound of clams. When I ordered, the waiter said, "One pound of the steamed clams, or two?"
"One will be fine," I said. "Thanks."
I ate them slowly; I was there a long time. I had a book.
There was a woman sitting at the table nearest me, probably in her 50s, and I thought, She's not beautiful. I wonder if she was when she was younger. I wonder if her husband still thinks of her as beautiful.
And then I hated myself a little, and my brain said, "How selfish can you be?", and I thought, Well, at least that much. But I'm loved anyway.
There was a woman standing on the beach, and I liked seeing her, there by herself, staring at the sea. The sea sounds so much more poetic than the ocean. But the ocean sounds bigger. When she turned and started walking, I felt like all the poetry of the moment left.
Three women came and sat near me in the bar. "Ooh," one of them said. "What you have looks good."
"It is good," I said, and I popped a clam in my mouth to show how much I was enjoying them. A little bit of sand crunched between my teeth.
They decided on the clams, the beef tips, and the artichoke dip. And rustic bread. I know this because the one woman kept repeating the list in different order:
"Look at this view, ladies. And we're going to have artichoke dip, and rustic bread, and beef tips... and clams!"
"I can't wait for our clams, and beef tips, and artichoke dip, and rustic bread. And look at this amazing view!"
It's almost dark. My words are sliding off the page....
Ta da! Day two coming soon....