Thursday, January 28, 2010

87 The Weekend

I had never taken anyone here before. From the road above, it was impossible to notice the tiny pebble beach carved into the sheer face of the cliff over so many years. It was impossible to know how long it had taken to plunder from the granite this small not quite cave. It was impossible to see under any normal circumstances. I had grown up here. Still, though I had swum in these waters hundreds of times in my life it was not until my late teens that I found this place. Over the years, on a natural granite shelf at the back of my hidden beach, I had piled rocks which I had collected over the years since my discovery. Some of these rocks had fossils. When I wasn't in school, I would spend my time swimming in the bay and collecting the ones I found most interesting. I would save my favourites here on the shelf at the back of my secret beach.

I showed you my rocks. My most prized possessions. More valuable than my house and my car. More important than an antique oil painting by a Dutch master. You picked up one of the fossils and casually dropped it. I said it didn't matter. I happened to have two like that.

We didn't stay. I didn't know anyone in my town anymore. Everyone I had grown up with was either dead or living somewhere else. Even my cousin, who had sworn she would never leave, was living somewhere else. She said our hometown was paradise if you had enough money and she didn't and neither did I.

So you and I, we took the train down the coast to a nearby tourist attraction which, although I had grown up living nearly on top of it, I had never seen. There was a large beach. We swam with jellyfish. The night air was heavy with the scent of orchards. We chased fireflies. We listened to the waves crashing beneath our hotel room windows.

We took the train home on Sunday night. You fell asleep. You were barely awake through the short walk from the platform to the taxi. Unlocking the front door was like opening a time capsule. Everything both familiar and strange. Soon the television was on and the kettle was whistling. The spell was broken and everything was back in its normal place. We had returned to the world of routine and responsibility and it was good to be back.

I'm drinking tea in my kitchen with the lights off and from the living room I can hear muffled squawks coming from the television. I feel rested and ready for Monday. Sometimes a few days can feel like a complete and entirely different lifetime.

It has been a good weekend.

No comments: