Sometimes sitting still, disappearing, I recall the experience of Time as a child.
In the quiet living room drinking a cup of coffee before the start of a busy day I remember; I wanted to be liked, win the race, be a superhero and Lipton soup salesman like my dad. Nothing was crucial. But I could drown in the shower or die in the dark. Something was always under the bed. I believed in God and my parents and that everything would be alright. It was just my imagination.
And I was not responsible.
Just touch it. Poke it. Turn it over.
It’s just a piece of wood or stone or something like that.
I don’t think so.
Are you sure it moved?
I’m sure and you’re sure too but I know what you mean. I want to say I’m not sure but we both know. Does it scare you?
No. It’s just little. What’s it supposed to do attack us?
Then pick it up.
It skipped like a stone on water.
Yeah. I know.
They sat down one on either side of it facing the ocean which was calm as could be. Not wood stone or anything they might imagine observed their nervous sideways downward glances. Only moments before the walking talking laughing shoving handholding not holding teens had been startled by the impetuous thing’s decision to skip make a move hurl herself seven long clearly visible self-propelled skips to catch their attention. An unusual occurrence for all involved.
An older couple stepped off a distant boardwalk and headed in their direction the man several steps in front of the woman. His voice rising and falling one arm waving the other gesturing with conviction head shaking sandals slipping in the loose sand muttering cursing red faced raging at someone something somewhere. She said nothing. Oblivious. They were almost on top of the young pair before he noticed and stopped abruptly momentarily taken off guard and aback. Beach walkers are usually courteous exchange quick friendly smiles greetings carry on. Not so as he regarded these two with scorn. The girl in her ragged wooly sweater rubber boots on a dry day and long black bangs in her eyes. The boy was it a boy or thing with all the rings and rods piercing his skin like a heathen blue tattoo serpent wrapped around his scrawny arm. The not so gentleman quaked sputtered began to speak stopped mid sentence brushed the air as if to dismiss them then chased down the beach behind the receding woman his voice rising and falling.
The two teens looked at one another and rolled their eyes. She waved uttered peace out dad saluted and burst out laughing. They got up and brushed the sand off. He kissed her she wrapped an arm around his waist changed her mind gave him a shove bolted down the beach and he went tumbling after.
Hours passed interrupted only by the momentary spectacle of shifting hues pink purple red golden orange going going gone darkness settling in for the night. Sometime in the very early morning a sound sort of like crickets but more like birdsong broke the salt marsh silence filled the world for a moment and finally skipped home.