Posted by: chance47 | 08/06/2012

One Evening After A Good Meal…

You can’t outrun nature.

He had just finished crunching the last bit of his sugar cone when the car pulled into the parking lot.   It was fifteen minutes after nine p.m.

“I’ve never been to the beach at dark,” he said stashing his phone and wallet in the glove compartment.

“It’s beautiful,” she said.  “This is my secret spot.  I’m excited to share it with someone.”  She smiled.  “But tell no one.”

“My lips are sealed,” he replied.

They slowly worked their way through the rough sand and over the stone wall to the actual Chicago beach.   In that moment the smell of a great lake began to hit his nostrils.

“You can take your shoes off now,” she instructed.

And it was if he had never been to a beach before.   As if all “rules” were new.   Barefoot and giddy they walked toward the water.

“We have to make sure to keep our shoes by this lifeguard tower or -”

“Or we’ll never find our shoes AGAIN,” he interrupted.

They both smiled while stowing their sandals under the graffiti-ed lifeguard tower.  He noticed that the word “fuck” had been spelled “Fukk” on the white wood of the tower.

I really wish I had a sharpie right now, he thought, I’d love to make some additions.

She walked into the water first.  In the deep dark distance small waves were beginning to crash in.  He felt the wind hit his face and he looked up into the great expanse of space above him.

Somewhere, very far away, a small spacecraft was touching down on Mars.  Everything seemed impossibly big and wonderfully small at the same time.  He took his turn, stepping into the water.  The cold catching him off guard.

“Tsss,” he recoiled.

“It isn’t THAT cold,” she mocked, a good fifteen steps ahead of him.

He pushed forward , matching her step for step.  The water was at his waist within seconds.   Cool and forceful.  It sent a shiver up his spine.  A shiver telling him,  Hey…you’re here.

“It’s almost like the ocean,” he said.

“This is better,” she replied as if it were an undebatable fact.

The first of several larger waves hit forcing him to rock back on his heels.

“We can go out a bit farther since there are two of us.  Its safer.”

He looked towards the pitch black and the missing horizon.  Faint stars and the handle of the big dipper were barely discernible  in the atmosphere.  Damn city lights, he thought.  Looking back out towards the end of the water that wasn’t there a deep pit opened in his stomach.  Anything could be out there.  Anything.  All manner of creatures.  Monsters.  Or magic.

Another wave came at him and he picked up his feet, letting it crash into him and push him back a few feet.  Without realizing he was laughing.   Loudly.   She joined in.

They began fighting the waves.  Taking them on as they rolled in.  Protecting the city from their feral power.

“IS THAT THE BEST YOU GOT???” he yelled at the lake.

The lake responded with another crash.

“Apparently not,” she laughed, splashing him across his face.

They jumped into the waves, braving the all the dark parts.  Allowing the beautiful temperature of a rare cool summer night and now warm water wash through every fiber of their body.  Despite himself, he couldn’t help it.  He was smiling.

“See?”  he said.   “See?  I could have missed this.”

The lake responded with a gentle lap along his shoulders.

“I…could have missed…this,” he said again to the sky and beyond.

“You could have missed this,” she replied.  “All of this.”

He allowed the waves to gently bring him back to the shallowest part of the lake, knowing that he couldn’t outrun the waves.  Outrun the water.  Outrun the pull of gravity.   Knowing he wasn’t quicker than nature.  Knowing he shouldn’t have tried to be so premature.


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