Posted by: alegra22 | May 3, 2013

that was that

ImageYesterday I sat down on a driftwood bench and pulled off my navy blue hooded sweatshirt – another inheritance from my papa.

I stretched my legs and did not cross my arms over me in any way. My arms hung by my side, relaxed.  The sun soaked into my chest, my skin, my arms.

It did not burn me. It warmed me.

I sighed and closed my eyes and listened to the ocean roar. The ocean defeated itself again and again against the shore.

My husband, three children, and parents continued on without me – their feet pressing against the aged wood planks of the board walk, their screeches and screams mushrooming against a rare blue sky. I felt the echoes beneath my feet. It was enough to witness, to know they were alive.

I told myself that it was okay, just for a moment, to be nothing.

I’d been fighting nausea, fatigue, and a gagging sort of cough for days, but in that moment, I let go of my ambitions, anxieties, and general need to be something…I was just a body sitting on a driftwood bench in a perfect patch of sunlight.

I sat and a squirrel climbed up on to the bench next to me.

I offered it a peanut.

It scampered into my lap.

Sat and ate the peanut and then waited for more.

So I did this thing for a while.

I held out peanuts to this twitchy creature. It climbed up on my lap. It ate. It discarded peanut shells all over the black leggings I’d borrowed from my mother. I closed my eyes. I let the sun soak into me. I listened to the ocean. I didn’t try to be anything other than a heart beating, a strange and illiterate universe defined by skin.

It was good.

At some point a couple sat down next to me clutching red plastic cups filled with wine. They were very pale-skinned. She had veins in her cheeks. His nose was swollen. They had kind spirits. They sat next to me without demanding anything, so I shared my peanuts with them. The woman coaxed a squirrel on to her lap. Her husband left at some stage. The woman and I sat in the sun. She drank her wine. I drank in the sun. We fed the squirrels. Every once in a while we said something to one another.

Eventually my children returned.

I put a small pile of peanuts next to the woman and said, “Enjoy the rest of your day.”
And that was that.



  1. And that is life in Cambria, every day.

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