Cover Story

The way his hand brushes mine and I accidentally feel the graze of his toughness against my softness. Caramel lattes and the taste of vanilla and orange swirl ice cream when we kiss. There are scattered leaves which break away from their branches and spin as they fall to their concrete graves.

As the ocean waves glisten and roll beneath the afternoon sun, I imagine swimming out past the rough choppy water and floating until my heart stops racing like those little seabirds which run just close enough to the water’s edge but never get their little tiny delicate bird feet wet.

I don’t know if there is a God or a being watching out for any of us from the great beyond but there are so many of us wild strange creatures here together it seems impossible there isn’t some kind of magic stirring in us somehow. Butterflies in trees. Dolphin by the dozens jumping, swimming, playing out by the jetty. The smallest crab I have ever seen scoots sideways across the sand at my feet. He must be cruising at twenty five miles an hour easy, eyes all popped up and buggy.

In the squeeze of my chest I can feel the way so much joy tugs itself into sadness in spite of my best efforts. When I visit the pharmacist she asks if maybe I am depressed as well as anxious and this had never once occurred to me, to be honest.

All my life I have felt on high alert as some kind of way of protecting myself from an invisible harm I cannot name or describe, I can only say with certainty it is in here and out there and it is always waiting. But it did not ever dawn on me that perhaps beneath my hyper vigilance there may exist a wound so deep and so wide that it can only show itself in brief swells of melancholy when the sun is so high it pierces through the heart and soul of everything, and makes the pain burn hot and bright and true, and beautiful none the less.

I breathe the salt air, taste it in my throat. Squint my eyes and stare past the tall lighthouse which is a dot far off at the bend where the cove meets the point. People and their little critters shuffle off down the beach. We see each other and we do not see each other. Shadowy shapes moving in and out of the mist.

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