May 20, 2009
By Slade Gibbs BRONZE, Satellite Beach, Florida
Slade Gibbs BRONZE, Satellite Beach, Florida
3 articles 0 photos 0 comments

The beach looks so good at this time of night, when the sun is still roaming across the clouds and the moon intersects the sea. The collapse of Earthen tones swirl like mermaid's singing hair, but right now, right now I am not even looking Eastward. I simply sit, with my toes curled into the sand so you can't see my tapping feet- a sign of how unbelievably nervous your mere presence makes me. It is cool and damp on my shaking toes, and I begin to carve your name in the sand with my once-clean finger. Small, unseen by your leering view, focused on the cerulean ocean. The blue of your eyes widens as the night drops, a subconscious attempt to see as much as possible before you become as blind as the twilight sees fit. I trace silly little hearts with my thumb, playfully cascading my hands across your last name, as it intermingles with mine- a fresh addition to my sand-style nameplates. I've always thought that the taking of a man's last name in marriage is the ultimate sign of affection, of love- a gift that is often overlooked and entirely underappreciated. Especially if the new names just don't flow at all. Someone, knowingly deciding to go, for the rest of their lives, by a name that is a symphony of cacophony, just because tradition, and the basis of love, tells them to, is love in one of it's purest forms.
You're still watching the beach. I start watching you. Your thin arms prop your slouched neck and back up atop the sketchily built boardwalk, complete with stray nails and failed attempts at grandiose graffiti.Your legs are crossed over one another, your feet wrap lovingly around one another and you stand there, barefoot. For an instant I want to say Baby, watch out for splinters or nails- be careful, and I stop myself. I dont want you to see me, seeing you. I've got a secret.
Your hair is blowing, a little, in the evening breeze given off by the spring tides. It looks funny, like a lion just walked up to it's cub and started licking it clean. I also don't say anything about this- you still manage to look good. How you do it is still flabbergasting to me.
I sit, cross-legged- fully aware of the varicose veins lampooning my future- on the uneven steps leading from the concrete parking lot to the bottom of the endangered sand dunes. I've always been one for the bottom step; it's the closest thing to the end and the most easily missed. I don't want you to miss me.
See, I don't want you to leave, really. I have five minutes, if that. Five minutes to somehow verbalize every single screaming insecurity, every fear, every heart-wrenching antecedent followed by every agonizing soliloquy that will attempt to beautify your every beatified persona. The beach doesn't do you justice. I don't know what would, but not a freaking beach. How corny.
The car is parked about 20 feet away. When you turn to leave, it will be the longest 20 feet I will ever have to watch, to observe, to smell and hear and feel and try to hold back the clenching waterfall holed up tight within my throat. I want to yell, You can't just go. It's not how it is supposed to happen!
This isn't how it is supposed to happen. Love is something eternal and lighted by the flames of compassion and similarity, not of disparaging fear and gangrene loyalty from miles apart. I need the love I feel right now, all the time.
But I dare not say a word, not to you, not here. You already know. The waves spell it out for you better than I ever can. The sand, the musk of ancient fluttering doves can still be heard in the rustling palm trees a few yards off, beyond your still-flowing hair. I whisper, Don't go, don't. I've waited long enough.

What?, you said, your eyes half-moons now, your head snapping down to the coward on the bottom step, looking at the girl of his bursting dreams. I don't want to say anything else. I don't have a voice to say a word. I don't have.

You know, I just, I guess, I think I want you to stay here, with me, because, I know that, if given the time, I can make you happier than, well, anyone ever could. I know I'm young, I know I'm dumb, but when my heart skips beat after beat after beat, I know that's not just cliche intuition. That is something that I don't have a word for. I should be a speechwriter for Cupid. O Eros, wherefore art thou crimson arrows?

Love?, you ask me, your eyes suddenly flood with misty, blurring tears and before you think I can see, you turn to wipe them away. Yes, love, love love love, love love, love. The three words used most, the least, the most confusing feeling and the most revered idea of all beings. The very thing that separates us from tigers, from Neanderthalian forbears. Love. Bother, love.

Yes. I don't know any other word that comes close. Whatever happened to that? I'm not being mean, I swear, I just want you to try and feel the swooning of the crows that explodes every single time you look at me from across a crowded room.

Times up. Nothing came out except my yellowed insides all over the pebbled beach- food for the cormorants, I'm sure. Let the sparrows swarm and gorge on the entrails of a man whose only desire is never to be realized.

I stand, my knees wobbling from either the bottom-step blues, or from dizzying nerves that I am trying so hard to control. I'll go with the latter. The sun is not down all the way, there is still a sliver of dying orange light now bleeding into red as it ballroom dances with the sails of ships too lost to be found, way out there. Where I can't see. I take the steps slowly, trying not to let go of the rail, trying to not let myself fall back and land- hopefully- on a nail. I am deserved of nothing but paralysis.
You stand straight now, your hand slips inside the pocket of the jacket I let you borrow. I will not ask for it back. Maybe when you go out, when you have that one drink too many, when that boy from across the room stares one second too long, when that hug becomes an embrace- maybe my scent will reappear and you will whisper, Not tonight, not here, not now; I own two hearts.
It's a black jacket that has some band I saw a few years ago live, a band that you don't like because they scream too much. A band that now reminds me of nothing but how cute you look when you wear that and nothing else, the bottom of the jacket barely covering your barren legs, sprawled out in my mussed bed. I stand in front of you now. I look down a little to catch a glimpse of your now obvious crying, somehow kept silent. Maybe drowned out by the crashing wake.
Stay, I say in your ear, as I embrace you for what may be a last time, ever. I feel the ribcage I always make fun of you for hugging me back, your hands squeezing my shoulder blades- you, for some reason, always said, You have sexy shoulder blades.
I kiss your head more times than my scrambled mind can count, tasting your hair too much. I don't even mind because, well, it's finally you and me and the beach and being together and now, after all this final realization of the heart's hopes and dreams you are departing. You don't kiss me back. Another break in the fleeting heart left in the pocket of the jacket I once wore every day.
We walk, hand in hand, the 20 feet to your dirty white sedan that we always say we'll wash and never quite get around to. I haven't been in this car in months. I kiss you on the forehead when you turn to the side to catch a final gaze at the coffined sun, laid to rest by God's slaughtered hands. I kiss you as often as I can before you turn back to me and kiss me one time, on my tear-stained lips with your eyes burning into me and at that moment, I close my hands around your hips and hold on for dear life. You are shivering and it is not cold and maybe, just maybe this is a sign that you feel the same thing that every orifice is bleeding some sentimenatlity of hopeless romanticism.
I won't leave you. I am moving in with you, you tell me when your devilish smile that you only use when you just reveal some prank you pulled that I am too oblivious to notice. What? Stop the press. Is that why there are more suitcases than you came down with? Is that why you wouldn't let me take off work to drive you to the airport? Is this my big break? My Hollywood starlight coming into fruition, burning a hole in the sky with the radiance of that damn 'L' word? Is this really happening?

Now, take me home, you whisper to my shivering soul. Take you home. My darling, in the old jacket, coming home.

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