the wide open ocean was made for lonely women. one afternoon at
the beach i watched a woman stare at it for hours. her hands were
poised on a page of a book. her eyes transfixed at the frothy waves as
they swelled. in the distance a boy whacked the red head of a bucket
over and over with the Child’s weapon: a spade. his small body bobbed
with incessant need for a fat sandcastle and sharp cuts of bricks. and it
all drifted away from her. like the ocean dragging away from the sea bed.
crawling again and again. back from whence it came. popping stones
into its mouth in its hasty disertion. seaweed was left behind battered
like roadkill. its twisted tendrils swiftly becoming the ocean rag doll.
the sandcastle was a pained face now. keeled over and grotesque. the
boy knew it, lamenting loudly as he lugged his bucket along the sand.
the edges carved the sand in two.
suddenly the bucket fell. as the boy picked up a golden shell. and
clutched it fiercely in his fist. all sloppy tongue and pink fingers.
he was happy at last. the woman did not notice. perhaps this is what
loniliness did to a person. she lives as if nothing has happened to her.
and so she cannot be moved or persuaded. i sensed the woman had
given up on something. perhaps the choppy waves ahead reflected her
loss. perhaps the gentler ones consoled her grief.
telling her to bide her time. showing her she could
eventually live again. it wasn’t until hours later that i realised. why the ocean was
made for such women. because it listens to them. because it waits.
because if they let it, it will wash them away.