Friday, September 11
When morning comes, a gold light suffused with scent of salt water greets me. The muffled roar of ocean sounds just beyond the cottage on Seagull Way where I vacation for a week.
It was never supposed to be like this, I think. This being alone on a beach vacation on a barrier island in the Atlantic. Last night winds whistled and thunder boomed. Nicknamed the Graveyard of the Atlantic, the Outer Banks in North Carolina is a stormy treacherous meeting place of southern and northern winds and water that shipwrecked many.
I deserved to be with him today. It's his birthday, September, 11. He deserved to be here, taking in this time and place—surf and sky, calm now. I shake the feeling of wondering the impossible.
I sip my coffee on the deck. The news on my cellphone is more the same. Fires raging out West. A virus out of control. Riots in the streets. When people belittle and scorn each other, everyone—and everything—is corrupted.
I finish my coffee and slip on bathing suit and shorts, glance at the woman in the mirror. Not young anymore, but not bad. Oh well. Maybe when I get home, I'll join a dating site, forestall the loneliness, although how lonely is it to meet a stranger for coffee?
It’s a short walk to the beach, up a sandy path, across a golden windswept dune. Crashing waves with curled silver manes inspire the poet's muse. Although no poet, I find journaling therapeutic and the thoughts written here come to me later when I want to write, not when I feel forced to write.
A couple strolls the water's edge, holds hands. It wasn’t supposed to be like this. He wasn’t supposed to die. I wasn’t supposed to be alone. I dream of a strong man in my bed. I dream of him, walking the beach.
I walk toward the shore. Swirling around my ankles like a rite of redemption, the riptide's surprising force pulls at my legs, my toes dig in deep to keep me from falling. I breathe in where sky meets sea. It is suddenly very warm. Where have the years gone? This is my vacation, my beach vacation. I let it all go.