The boy is invited to a birthday party on Sunday evening, where I drop him off and drive to the beach.
The wind forces me to zip my jacket all the way to my throat, and pull up the hood over my hair. A pair of father and son walk by me, looking into my shape with questioning eyes, which I ignore by looking down, without the usual polite greetings or a smile. I let the cold breeze brush against my cheeks, relishing in the familiar salty and musky smell. The sun is setting, or has set, I can't be sure. Clouds has erased the thin blue line between the sky and the sea, save for a few patches of light blue peeking through. The sun may be long gone, but smears of coral light stubbornly blush through layers of grays and blues, declaring a war on the night and putting off dusk's impending departure. Yet as I walk, light retreats further and darkness creeps in, making the air thick, hard and cold.
I reluctantly prepare my goodbyes, to light, to dusk, to loud and happy gatherings on the beach and to the fleeting weekend. A few long shadows, lone beach walkers like me, come along and pass me, pushing through the rising wind and around the growing tide. We sigh in unison towards departing shades of red, blue and darkening silhouettes of waves, without speaking to one another.
The scene has me wondering, thanking and regretting. Should I have dropped off the boy so carelessly? How could I have put off visiting my grieving and aging mom yet another day? The sunset reveals a different kind of beauty and finality, sped by the darkening powers of marine layers. What evidence do I have on things returning to normal? I suddenly can't remember and can't imagine leaving, without watching that last kiss between the painted sky and the darkening sea. The sense of loss imprisons my thoughts, confining me to a small wet patch of sand screaming out my lungs begging for everything to stay, to be still, if for one second longer.
The beach is deserted for all but a few scattered figures now. No matter the loss, no matter the onset of the night. Everyone escapes into cocoons of artificial warmth and light, with the knowledge and assurance that the sun will rise again, soon. In the meantime we climb the depth of darkness we must endure by holding hands with those nearby, by remembering the certainty of our assurance, and by not paying too much attention to the freezing temperature of the night. Or despair will surely rip us apart.
A ship come onto the horizon just now, blinking brightly in lights that outline its shape, gliding through a far away surface so smoothly like it was one of those toy boats running on rails at Lego land. Real or imagined, more ships glide onto the scene, dancing and drawing bright dotted shapes onto murky surfaces. Together with the stars, rising high and blinking bright, they paint away tears, with light.