Short Story – And I Am

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And I am lying and I am lean and I am tan and the towel beneath me has a wrinkle which cannot be ignored and my eyes are closed and the chatter of the afternoon waves around and beyond and toward and the shrooms are definitely kicking in and I smile as a stray finger makes circles in the sand.

And I am thinking of the Beach Boys ‘Fun, fun, fun’ as Sam makes way from the ocean and I sit up and eyes are staring and heads are turning and Sam returns to her towel in a blue striped bikini and says the water is delightful and I say that everyone says the water is delightful and she punches my arm and reaches for the whiskey.

And it is swimwear season and so people have starved themselves and joined the gym and cut back on the booze ‘just a bit’, while children dig holes and make castles and run along the water’s edge. The sun is setting as Sam and I carry our bag to the cabin and rowdy neighbours whistle salute to Sam’s bikini while she teases me with tales they are cheering my trunks.

‘Surf’s Up’ plays as we drink and change and the noise grows louder as night falls and people ready themselves for the evening ahead. It is New Years and it is wonder and it is awe and all is fun and celebration and I pull up jeans as Sam brushes her hair to the tones of Brian Wilson.

Sam strokes a finger across my palm as we make way toward festivities and crowds cheer for us to mingle and couples weave waves through single folk heading for Ferris wheel and fireworks. The odd burst appears in the night sky set by those unwilling to wait, a girl cries as another walks by with an arm around her shoulder.

There will be crowds and mobs and police and colors and loud noises, says Sam, and we shall be there for it all. We can only hope, I reply as Sam swallows a pill and squeezes my hand once, then twice.

There is salt in the air and sand between my toes as we stop to buy some cotton candy. A little boy holds a balloon tight, aware it is past his bedtime and his sister rides her father’s shoulders as a dog runs helter skelter.

Guitars begin from a stage set for midnight jubilation, side burned singer belts out early Beatles standards as a half-hearted crowd surfer suffers wild abandon. Sam smiles and sets her eyes on a hill a fair walk away and we set out apart from the crowd and celebration. Feet drag as Sam urges me on and we rise and witness all from above. And a finger points toward the galaxy on collision course with our own and we breathe deep and we smile.

 

By Jonathan H.

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