Pillars

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In the slow creep of the sand, the lights past the bay dwindled ever slightly in comparison to the moon in its crescent shape - high tide washed the starfish ashore and Pillar’s laugh was just barely audible next to the waves still crashing lightly upon the banks of white. Aside me, moon-lightened hair and eyes that glowed Bermuda turquoise meeting my own only brief a time, hummed a girl; much like a breath of cold air in one’s palm - timeless, beauty.

Overlooking the bay were the dunes we’d descended just hours ago. The sun had long since passed, leaving only the present phase of the moon to guide our path. But as Pillar kept sharing story after story I realized she probably didn’t mind being lost quite so much as I.

“You know Will, it’s a beautiful thing, to own a map,” she said, almost forgotten.

“And why’s that exactly?”

“Because that way, no matter how far gone you may be, you’ll never be lost you see, because you’ve got that map and it’ll always get you back to where you need to be - whether that place be where you began or where you shall end is entirely up to the mapmaker himself, but suppose the mapmaker is yourself; does that mean your fate is entirely in your hands? Perhaps. I guess I didn’t think that far ahead…” Every stretch of her was puzzling; the tiny crook in her nose to the small curve in her back and it was, on nights such tonight, when she said things like this, impossible to doubt the madness she possessed, but just as impossible to question her sanity; throughout her trip through the labyrinth, she planted the seeds and questioned all and any without so much a stun of debate. She couldn’t break free. This was her life.

“Do you ever feel, Will, like you’re about to embark on a real journey and you’re just certain you won’t see the end of it all?” she’d stopped walking quite some time ago, and now sat in the dampish, cold sand, back facing the foaming blue. “Like maybe this is it for us? Sometimes I think about the endless possibilities of the world and can’t ever find the nourishment for this hunger, and though it all seems hopeless, I keep searching for this meaning - so much so it drives me mad with passion.”

Looking down at her, behind the mess of curls, you could see where her spine curves like an ‘s’ and she’s just bent forward, fingernails cracked and cracking the ends of her hair and I can hear her pondering inside her head, and I don’t say a word because I know what she’s just said was meant for her to hear, not for I. “Pillar, let’s go back. Hell, it’s getting late and the rest are probably wondering where we’ve gone…” I’d expected an unresponsive moment, or a screech of disapproval, disappointment, anger, resentment, a look of discontent on her part - but I saw only the flash of her bright smile and the disentanglement of her Indian-crossed legs, the dust dripping through the seams of her dress, from the pores of her skin.

“You’re probably right. Heaven knows what they’ll be saying in the morning...” I caught the slip of her perilous smirk and the brief wink of the creases between her eyes until she’d stepped out of sight, her laughter hanging, leaving me swimming after her, catching in my open jaw every echo of her insanity bouncing off the endless skies and depths of the ocean and clear off the dunes.





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