I Don’t Mean That

If I were honest you would find dark secrets here but I am a coward. I lie to myself and others. I concern myself for you, for your feelings. So I write trite, the sky is blue, birds are words, the sea is frothy white… not a place to wade in heavy boots past where your feet slip from beneath and the rush of salt stings your nose and throat and screams fill your brain but not the air. I don’t mean that. The sun is hot even in November on my perfect beach where a few sea gulls squawk above my shaded eyes. I watch black angles against the sky. I have brought with me a book, something by Tennessee Williams, whose writing I abhor but its corner was leaning out as I passed the bookcase, Sweet Bird of Youth. You are not likely to find the truth here; I am surprised I am here at all.
It was late in the day. The sun was setting. I received the news, it was empathic and concise. I admired the perfect English. I went down to the shore past the houses and scattered surfers lingering in the last light of day. A haze blanketed the shore ahead of me. It moved out to sea as I approached as though to escape my arrival. I raced toward it intent on vanishing beneath its gray veil. I am sure it began to rain; globules of salty sea ran down my face leaking into my mouth as I gasped for breath that tore upward from my belly, jagged edges ripping through my lungs. My legs grew numb and I sank down on the sand behind the old seafood restaurant that never reopened. I could hear the wails carried out on the wind to the ocean and I covered my ears. Oh, the sound of that pathetic creature, guttural cries mutating to a howl, feral and terrifying. That unearthly scream streamed out across the sea until I could no longer feel it. I sat frozen, waiting for it to dissolve into the deep. After a while it reduced to a whimper and then silence. I got up and walked the shore line home.

Filed under: Prose Tagged: the letter

Original Article: https://aheartafire.wordpress.com/2015/11/06/i-dont-mean-that/

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