For a month I lived on an island where sea was always in sight. To get to the water, I followed a road past pine trees and careening motorcycles, a long walk in the afternoons. But then, the afternoons were long in the afternoons. I’d reach a curve in the road just as the path’s beauty was becoming tiresome. It was then that the beach became less a whisper and more a promise. I’d slant past the restaurant perched on a hill and head onto the straightaway where the abandoned cars sat. I was going where their drivers had gone.
My knees would strain at the sharp angle of the gravel path down to the beach. I’d kick up clouds of dust onto my skin, knowing I would be lapped clean by lazy water soon. At the bottom, the path split. To the right, tourists drank margaritas, and to the left lay the ruins, ancient and indifferent. I always turned left, more prone to memory than revelry that summer, and straight into the water, glittering and blue, lifting off the grime the shower doesn’t reach. Almost as good as that promise of the sea.
As with the waves, I could never know his warmth or vigor until I dove inside. As with the walk on the island, I approached his building not for him, but to stretch out the anticipation until it was taut over my skin.