12 December 2010

Advent II

We left the drawing room and drove to the coast at dusk. No one else came, just us two, leaving the yellow reading light, my sister’s blankets, my brothers’ company. Straight down her street, across another, into dusk, we drove silently.

Lights shone on the water at the park. Black-webbed volleyball nets hung against the sky. Red-lit smokestacks blinked, reflected and smeared like oil paint. We parked our car in the fire lane and walked across the lawn to stand above the sea.

We stood in the enormous silence of minor movements. The withdrawing tide secretly slipped over rounded stones that did not move. The sky fogged and spread down into the sea; the sea softened and crept up into the sky. Two ragged black rocks divided the expanse into top and bottom, but the horizon lay somewhere far beyond them, erased. The lighthouse spun snatches of gold out into the abyss.

I shivered and you wrapped your coat around my shoulders. Oh sweet sanity: salt and wind, bird cries and sailboats, damp air to settle all the dust in our minds. Minutes passed. We did not move.

When we walked back from the sea wall three people stood smoking by the car parked in front of ours. The men wore suits, the woman grey tights and black boots up to her knees. Our headlights lit her up. “—have you ever been down here?” I overheard one man ask the other two. I didn’t hear the response; my door was shut; we were driving away. The coast receded behind us and the crescent moon mounted, pivoting on a single star.

1 comment:

.rx. said...

there's just something about the ocean... i can never quite leave.