un frío penetrante

January 22, 2010
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I spiraled down the old wooden stairs, leaving the others behind. I took in the chill that grew with each step I took down the soft, weather-worn wood. As soon as the floor was within distance, I kicked off my boots and jumped down. I tripped and stumbled through the sand, thinking only of running. The sand felt moist and cool; it stuck to my crooked leggings as I dashed along the shore. When I came to a halt at the water’s edge, I let my feet sink into the ground as I wiggled my toes in puddles of brisk seawater that had failed to return to the ocean. I stood there for a while, letting my heart slow back down to its normal pace, trying to relax my muscles. The waves continued crashing, beating each other until only the foam remained. I blocked the course of some waves, but they continued, splashing my ankles as they tried to make their way across my buried feet. Of the determined seawater that made it over the mound, little made it back; I trapped the rest in pools around my feet, where it stayed for seconds, then sunk into the ground, disappearing as quickly as it came.


I wanted to let myself fall onto the ground, so my whole body could sink into the sand too and the waves could roll over me. I wanted the water to push and pull, to try in vain to bring me to it’s home. I imagined the pebbles and sand flowing around me, dripping down my sides until, eventually, I would become just another bump in the shoreline where forgotten seawater could collect.


The waves shoved to get ahead, cracking each other with every blow, until they finally burst, just upon reaching the shore they tried so desperately to get to. Each wave shattered like a mirror; shards of water stabbed through foggy sea air. The cold sensation of the seawater soaking through my legs snapped me out of my daydream and I jumped backward, nearly falling into the melting slivers of the watery mirror around me. I rolled up my soggy leggings and splashed out of the water.


Walking along the shore, I felt the piercing in my head again. Biting grains of sand passed through my toes as quickly as the bitter cold that passed through my head, my mind was slowing under a freezing layer of ice. My thoughts were crawling all over, behind walls and underground, leading me through a maze in my own head. Feelings were lost somewhere between reasoning and a crooked ledge of what should have been comprehension. Letting out what was meant to be a silent scream, I kicked the sand into the air, and earned a looks from a few people nearby. The sand burst in the air - a miniature explosion. As it came back down, the sand faded away and disappeared. Why couldn't my mind be like that? Why couldn’t a little jolt make my minds contents tumble out onto the ground to be crushed by people who would never notice what was underfoot?


Fragmented steps echoed fragmented feelings; cold winds blew through my clothes straight through my bones. I shivered and walked on. I listened close for the orchestras, hiding under the mirrored waves; I wanted to hear their symphonies. But the ocean did not whisper to me it’s calm and warming lullaby, nor did it murmur quiet melodies. Walking down the shoreline, I heard a different sound.
The waves competed with their songs; each symphony grew louder, played faster, became stronger, as the growling waves tried to be heard over the other. In the shallow current I heard sighs from the waves who had escaped. Whispers rustled through the foam that floated on the sea, a lull above the water. The water on the very edge was almost motionless, only moving when a wave brushed up against it. Was this where it had found respite? I wondered, gently stepping into the icy, still water. “Can I join you?” I asked in a near whisper, as a new wave came to pull the broken water back into the turbulent sea.





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