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Drama Fiction

I love the ocean, always have. It’s where I find my solace and my strength, my peace, and my power. I will always love the ocean, even though it tried to kill me.

Moon River isn’t just a beautiful old song, it’s the promise of something better, a promise that beckons like the yellow brick road on the way to Oz. At full moon and low tide, it’s possible to follow that yellow ocean river quite a way out from shore, and one night I did. I heard the speculation later that I tried to kill myself, but I didn’t. I don’t think. Maybe.

My plan was just to walk the beach and let the soft splash of the waves calm my soul. I know it’s foolish to go into the ocean alone, especially at night, but during my walk the moon river seduced me. The water temperature was perfect, warmed by a perfect summer day, and without any waves or companions to slow me down, I waded out further and further until I couldn’t see the shore even if I looked for it. The ocean enveloped me in a warmth I hadn’t felt for a long time.

My thoughts ricocheted like a pinball, bouncing off memories, desires, opinions. It’s funny how one thought leads to another with just the thinnest connection. I drifted into memories of coming to the beach as a child. I had a happy childhood. As an only child I sometimes felt a little lonely, but there was no trauma, not much drama. We used to come to the coast for a couple weeks every summer and that’s when my love affair with the sea began. I remember Mama always watching to make sure I didn’t go too far out or away. Dad and I used to play in the waves together, jumping into and over them and riding them back to shore. Those were some of my best days. Dad died from pneumonia when I was 25 and Mama is living the rest of her life mourning him. Nothing atypical about that, I guess. My grief group was full of people who lived through basically the same story. I miss him, but I understand the circle of life. Harder is grieving my mother, who is still alive. She just can’t find her way without Dad.  I don’t know if that’s love or co-dependence. 

I’ve never had a great love. It’s one of the sadnesses of my life and a conversation God and I will have to have one day, because I surely don’t understand why not. I don’t want to die without loving and being loved, but I don’t even know how to find it anymore.  I’m not a kid, casual hookups and mindless conversation don’t interest me. I tried it when I was younger and I wasn’t any good at it then, I know it definitely wouldn’t work for me now. And I’m okay alone most of the time. I like my own company and I have enough interests to keep myself occupied. It’s true, there’s a big difference between being alone and being lonely. I’m always alone but I rarely allow myself to feel lonely anymore. Still, sometimes I just want someone to talk to, someone who knows what side of the bed I sleep on and how long my showers are, someone who knows my favorite drink and my favorite color. I’m not lonely, and I’ve accepted that I’m unlovable, at least I’m trying to, but sometimes I just want to know someone who wants to know me more than anyone else in the world. 

The world. What is happening in our world? Everyone hates everyone else. At least it seems that way on the news and social media. I had to give up social media. There’s really nothing social about it, it’s just one more way to brutalize each other. I don’t understand why no one can voice an opinion without apologizing for it. Opinions are just that, opinions. Everyone has their own unique spin on life. Just because we don’t agree doesn’t mean either of us is wrong. Or right.  Everyone expects perfection from everyone but themselves, and no one seems to practice tolerance or forgiveness. We’ve swung so far out of balance and all I do is worry about our existence. I guess that’s a positive perspective to never having children. I don’t think this is a good world to bring them into. But every new baby could be the one who saves us. I hold on to that thought when the world exhausts me.  

I begin to wonder how long I’ve been swimming this river to Oz when I realize the tides have shifted and it’s no longer comforting. In fact, it’s becoming violent and angry and I feel myself slammed into a wave I never saw coming. I was so lost in my head I wasn’t paying attention. I know I’m supposed to pay attention in the ocean! I also know I’m not supposed to panic but I can’t help it now. I’m scared and another wave throws me under! Look for the bubbles, look for the bubbles! I know this, but I’m disoriented and I’ve lost the moon and I can’t see any bubbles! I’m tossing like clothing in a dryer and I can’t find the bottom. Help me! Help me! I’m screaming in my head. I can’t hold my breath much longer and I don’t want to die! Please, I don’t want to die! 

I’ve heard people try to bargain when things aren’t going well. With God, with “the universe.” It feels like “God” has become politically incorrect, so people say “the universe” instead. No matter what word is said, it’s wanting to believe, needing to believe, a higher power is looking out for us and helping us find our way. I scream to God, to the universe, to mermaids and turtles, to whales and sharks and dolphins, and anything that might save me. I go under again and I know it’s the end. 

I’m floating again. The ocean is bathwater warm and calm, and the screaming in my head is gone. This is surrender, I realize. This is how it feels to stop fighting and just be. Let God or the universe or the stars I see in the sky lead me and take care of me. Wait, stars in the sky? I realize my arms are scraping along the ocean floor. I’m not dead. I have surrendered but I’m not dead. I stretch my legs and feel sand between my toes, and I rise.

I love the ocean, always have. It’s where I find my solace and my strength, my peace, and my power. I love the ocean. It saved me.

March 05, 2021 16:12

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1 comment

Vikki Peat
20:25 Mar 14, 2021

Wow, so heartfelt it felt like honesty instead of fiction. Some beautiful similes in there too.


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