Did you ever get writer's block because it all just feels bottled up? All the things you want to say about an experience just crowd at your heart or stick in your throat or gum up your soul. They want out but something keeps them from forming. Without hurting, you want to illuminate. Without sounding trite or glib you reach to capture the detail of a moment and it stops - held like a constantly repeating busy signal - until you let it go. When you try again, it's just another rental car on the highway instead of a magical ship on the way to a beautiful island for a weekend of discovery.
At sunset we walked on the beach. As the world darkened She looked at the ocean and told me she could hear it breath. It was so alive for her. As She and I wandered, her deep red toenails pointed at a little shell in the wet sand here and a bigger shell in the dry sand there. I scooped them all up and put them like treasure in the little plastic bucket I carried, always trailing slightly behind her.
"Imagine if we'd met when we were single," she said softly. "And you were twenty years younger."
Out of the blue on the phone one day she had told me to wait. It was a first. I had not asked even though I desperately wanted it. I had not begun it on my own as I often do. Her instruction was unadulerated by any request or action of mine. It was now Day Twenty Four. I had honored her on each in a tour of chastity She exacted from me. I ached for her.
Lunch was late after seashell servitude. I had bought my own fins this time at her direction. The sea by our beach was calm, but her scaley riches were fewer and further between than they'd been on our last visit. We worked hard for them. Then the black clouds and rain chased us off and it was late afternoon. I was hungry. For food and for She.
In the kitchy little restaurant, She ordered a seafood salad and an open faced sandwich with some kind of meat in it. It came with french fries. Greedily, she ate. She relished each bite - slowly, as she watched me lust for her food. She gave me a crust of bread and a french fry. Sauce clung to her lip and she took a last sip of wine.
In the touristy shell shop across the street I held her blue plastic shopping basket as she loaded it full of pretty, store bought welks and fighting conch.
"I feel dirty and cheap," she moaned. "I can't believe they sell these for two dollars." She went on and on about how she'd work so hard to find hers and clean them and put clear laquer on them to make them nice and shiny.
"I can't believe I'm paying for shells."
Sometimes when I write I feel like I'm just talking to myself in my living room. I forget that I write about real feelings and people's lives and I just give it up to the words that seem to flow. Tonight the words are stuck. The right phrase is just out of reach. Two lives intersected and entangled for three amazing days. Then they separate and go on. The memory stalls like a bank of thunderclouds. I wait for rain, but nothing comes.
Tonight I feel fear inside each wish I harbor. But my fears are full of wonderful, unthinkable wishes. Oh to be single and twenty years younger.
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