Midnight Beach

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It is midnight. The windows on the top floor are open and the cool breeze comes in and brings the sound of the sea with it. I am restless, walking around the apartment trying to find the strength to go to sleep. I hear the cicadas outside, rubbing their tiny legs together. The salty air filters through my hair, covering each strand with invisible crystals that make it matte and rugged and heavy. I shape it into a bun and fasten it with a tortoise shell hair claw. I grab the keys and walk down to the beach. On the street, the last clients of the beach bar are leaving. They get into their German cars, turn on their radios and drive away into the night. A waiter comes out of a back door and drops a bottle of Coca-Cola as I walk past. At the same time, another waiter is leaving on his motorised bi-cycle. I finally reach the sand. I remove my flip-flops and hold them in one hand through the Y-shaped strap. I wrap the lanyard with the keys around the same hand and walk to the water. The moon is high in the sky. I think it is full but I am not completely sure. It casts a bright light over the white sea foam that forms as the waves crash. The tide is down so the sea foam stretches over the wet sand like cotton bandages trying to heal a wound. As one disappears in the sand, another rolls out on top of it. Mars and Jupiter are visible tonight, but all the other astral bodies are in hiding because of the brightness of the moon. The light from nearby towns also conceals the speckled miracle of the cosmos. I reach the water and let it roll over my feet and ankles. It is warm. The moment the seawater touches my skin my thoughts disappear, and I am in this trance that moves with the rhythmic motion of the waves. I start to walk, to the left. I realise there are still people on the beach; they are lurking in the shadows of the night, waiting for me to get closer. Families, groups of friends, lovers. They all embrace the beauty of the night sea. The sand closer to the water is firm, and my feet barely leave a dent on it. If I move higher up, the sand becomes softer; it folds gently under the weight of my body, leaving deep, well-defined prints. Around this area there are scattered pebbles in various shades: white, grey, black, marbled. They form inverted transient constellations that shine in the light of the moon. Every night they come into existence and every night they disappear into oblivion. Fishermen are out with their long rods. Midnight catch special. I hope it tastes good. I keep walking. The sound; the feeling under my feet. I never want it to stop. I want to keep walking, keep losing my consciousness in the clarity of nature’s chaos, which I find in the infinite pulse of the breaking waves and the sound of the cicadas. Keep walking. The bundle of keys feels clanky and heavy in my hand; I release my hair into the salty breeze once again.

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