The moments flash back on me.
When the sun is just right. When the clouds are just right.
When the ocean looks like it did that day.
Hanging off the front of my dad’s boat as a kid, growing legs dangling, watching the foam surfing and sliding down the man-made waves as the bow cut through the water. It mesmerized me, as I daydreamed about someday having a girl like you.
I grew up on the water, you see.
Around the water. In the water.
I felt its pull long before I could explain it.
I even read Arion: Lord of Atlantis comic books.
I remember swimming at the wharf in a nearby town. Jumping off, free falling and falling and hitting the water hard. Knowing how deep you were by the colour of green and the temperature.
Relief from the heat.
Relief from the brightness.
Relief from the oppressive monotony of summer days.
I flash back to high school vacations spent playing beach volleyball and impressing short, blond, french girls with my ability… to be 6’4″. And my innate talent for placing a perfect overhand serve. Until I thought about how awesome I was at placing a perfect overhand serve.
Smugness is accuracy’s enemy.
I went to university in Halifax. A city with a harbour. And yet in my dorm, and later apartments, that were maybe a fifteen or twenty minute walk from the harbour, I felt too far away from the water.
I remember standing in the bay window of one ground floor flat in an old house, adjusting my super awesome and alliterative Bugs Bunny boxers and seeing kids from Toronto dressed like kids from the late 60s to-ing and fro-ing.
And not the ocean
It bummed me out.
One time, after a night of shenanigans, a friend or friend of a friend or acquaintance from back home got lost and slept in the Public Gardens. Outside. On a bench. Upon hearing the story the next day during the brunch debriefing, as I tested the syrup saturation point of french toast, my first thought was “Hmmm. It IS closer to the harbour.”
University springs were spent lobster fishing. Running on three hours sleep. Writing poetry in my head, as we pulled traps. Missing something I didn’t know yet. Feeling the adventure. Seeing the sunrise only added to it.
In all directions.
On those seemingly-endless small-town summer nights, we’d go to beach parties. Toes in the cool sand. Guitars being used as time machines.
It’s late in the evening, she’s wondering what clothes to wears.
City girls just seem to find out early how to open doors with just a smiles.
I love the memories.
Not all of them are from my childhood though.
I have a fresh one from the same harbour I grew up looking at.
The one right outside my bedroom window.
The one that affects my moods more than I realize.
This memory is even better than the childhood ones.
It is perfection.
I have a photo from it on my desk right now.
You gave it to me.