Friday, May. 24, 2019 @ 12:24 am
I open the door to my apartment, and the heat pushes against me before I cross the threshold. I drop my bags and head straight to the bedroom. I strip and pull on my bikini. I look at the dirty dishes in the sink, the pile of Ikea boxes in the living room, the heaping pile of laundry. All of this was meant to be my Thursday night.
I sidestep it all, repack my backpack with a book, towel, and water, and I push my bicycle out into the hallway towards the elevator.
I cycle through the forest, beams of sun illuminating individual ferns. The air becoming progressively cooler as I near the ocean.
I lay my towel at a log and head into the surf. The tide is high, and the water is colder than before due to a brisk wind that has stirred up the layers. This - this is paradise. My life, the way that it’s come together, my god, how can it be so exquisite? Is someone quietly feeding me a psychotropic drug?
A tall man with pale skin and a dark beard enters the water. I am meandering around picking up pieces of fucus and sea lettuce, marveling at the translucent and beautiful fronds. He flounders and splashes, making a scene about the cold water. I laugh and tell him that it’s not so bad. I swim towards him, and we talk for a bit. He seems kind. Brave, too. Few are above their knees in the Pacific Ocean in May.
I read for a while cross-legged on my towel. A breeze picks up, and my damp bikini brings a chill across my chest. I cycle home and am hanging my bike on my wall when my phone pings. It’s Russell.
I’m just walking down to the beach to read and watch the sunset. You’re welcome to join me if you’re not doing anything.
Seawater drips from hair. Sand between my toes. The laundry.
I’ll be there in 10 mins.
I strip my bikini and pull on a sundress. Rinse the salt from my face, twist my hair up into a pile on top of my head. Dump my bag and repack with a blanket, a poncho, two beers, a block of good cheese and a knife. Unhook my bike from the wall and roll it out again into the hallway.
I find him at a front row log. I lean my bike against the bleached wood and sit down next to him on his blanket. He hands me a mug filled with Radler. Kisses my cheek, puts his arm around me. I lean back on the log, and we watch the sunset.
I pull out my fleecy blanket, and we tuck it around ourselves. He rubs my leg and kisses my neck. We share about our days. Living so close - a few blocks apart - allows this. These one hour interludes, brief moments of connection that are slowly zipping our lives together.
When dark arrives, we part ways. He glances over his shoulder at me as he’s walking away and I’m hitching up my dress to mount my bike. I wave one last time and coast off down the bike path.
Later - now - I sit by candlelight and write. My skin is hot from all of the sun. My soul is warmed from all of the hugs. Today, everyday, is magic.
And now, somehow, it is raining outside.
Water. Sun. Sand.
His hand touches my face and traces down the side of my neck.
The sky blazes with a magenta inferno.
We kiss and I open my eyes and look straight into his startling blue eyes.
My insides swell.
Fireworks discharge in the distance, right at the moment that our lips touch.
How can this be real?
I found paradise.