two summers ago, when i lived in cape cod for the warm months, i learned something important. i realized that no matter how much time i spent there, how often and how much i consumed the sun and the surf and the birds and the breeze, that it would never be enough. six months was not enough, and even then i spent my last sad minutes basking in the sunny ripples on the pond, or trying to catch a few final glimpses of the bay in its various seasons of light.
and so yesterday, remembering this, i tried to remain calm. i tried to swim as though it wasn't my last swim ever. i hung sheets on the line as though i'd been doing it all my life. i sat stubbornly on the deck and let my skin get red and rashy, knowing the minutes were numbered, knowing there was only so burned it could get. we bought extra breakfast muffins and i left 30 pages of my book unread, hoping that if i savored a small piece of this happiness, the returning wouldn't sting quite so.
i had crazy dreams while i slept there. i imagined you on your wedding day. she found us upstairs, together, and tried to be angry. "we didn't do anything wrong," i promised, sitting up nervously after lounging in your bed. "we haven't done anything but talk." but the talk was good and the wrong was loosely defined. her wrong was my right. a little talk could be a dangerous thing. "i don't want him," i lied. "he's yours now and yours forever." and that, like this -- we both knew -- wasn't the end of it, but it quieted the time and things resumed their natural flow and we all went on about our days undeterred. this was the least bizarre dream, and as such the easiest to remember.
last night we made it back just in time for fireworks on the pier. there were no oohs, no ahhs, just some sarcastic hoots and a lot of chatter. they seemed far away somehow, for some other city on some other shore. not ours as we'd have them, overhead on the beach, blanket splayed, shoes off, bellies filled with summer pizza and tipsy on a beer. we met this way once, after much early courtship, a hard-won victory in my war against the male species. i had one now, captured, mine for all time. i knew it then and didn't need the proof.
and so this morning, the muffins slightly stale, the rain and the floods keeping me in, i am a petulant child. i am late to work. late and yet not rushing, late and yet i can barely fathom why i go there. i have lost my desire to jaywalk and i wait for the light to cross. i can hardly let it end. it will never be enough.