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Friday, April 30, 2010

Page 16--Cenophobia--P.Bees

I have not been to the other side of the world. My earth ends here on the beach, not in the wild waves. Even walking the sloped-shore sand is treacherous. One foot an imprint, the next a sinking-sliding out to sea.

The rogue wave that grabbed at my sole encouraged its undertow to snatch at my footing. Unable to propel forward, I leaned unbalanced toward the sea, the unknown. I spread my arms. My calf muscles constricted. I pulled my foot free of the sucking insistence. I saved myself and lost myself in the same instant.

Had I abandoned to the fall, the water would have washed over me. It would have bathed away the sweat of fear. My heart yearns for the possibilities my mind refuses.

I am not that easy. Whatever it is in me that broods and chaperons my soul has cuffs of steel. I fight the misstep. I balance against the perceived fall. I stand stoic and miss the ocean’s cool lotion; miss the therapy of her broth. In resisting, I am left to examine the sandy bowl shape my weight and the wave have conspired to make. It is a mark gone in the next wash of frictionless exploit of wave.

I breathe deep and smell the sea that lingers in the mist. It clings to my hair. I think I will be able to conjure the ester mix of kelp, shells with crusted sand, wave washed rocks, and sun on a winter’s day. But I know that I will need another trip to the shore to fill my perfume vials. And every trip to the shore creates a cyclone in the bottle of my stomach. It is the twist of extremes. The upward spiral of yes and faith and hope and new beginnings. The abysmal slide to despair. To fault. To rejection and fanatic loathing.

I study the waves as they wash in, no two alike. Their separate selves rise from a orbital tidal pull. They link hands as they race for the shore, for me, until in curves of entrancing foam and froth they cross my feet and entreats me to join them. They mock me in my solidity.

The raucous rush of water heard as laughter goads me. Its persistence unnerves me. It is a sound that cannot be ignored. It is the canned laughter of TV, the background music in a restaurant, the squeak of gym shoes on a wood floor. It is everywhere and will not leave me.

I beg it to talk to me, to stop the taunts and tell me instead of its travels. Chancing to speak it tells me where its waves have been, to Walvis Bay, Kuala Lumpur, and Stavanger. These are places I long to see. The ocean’s salt spray teases with tastes of foods I long to try.

So I return each year to test my soul. I close my eyes and the lull of rhythmic beach wash, the narcotic smell of seaweed trace, and faultless fresh breeze draw me in. I feel the laciness of the white wash dress my ankles. I gaze to the horizon and watch as gulls and terns preach a fatalistic Calvinism.

I look over my shoulder and see where I have walked. I see the imprints my bare feet have made in the sand. They mark a perforated line between land and sea, the parentage of the known and the plumbless of unknown.

Perhaps another day I will tear the stub loose and ride the ticket to the other side.

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