Your mind is Swimming
It was cold, colder than it ought to be, but I suppose it might have something to do with the slowly drying salty water on my skin, and the fact that I forgot my towel on the other side of the beach pool. I forget the shivers eventually, slipping slowly into the water until all but the heels of my palms hit the edge of the rock and follow through. The chills disperse as the water does through my bathers, then leave as the heat follows with every deep breath and expect them to come crawling back as my initial even strokes and swift kicks through the clear waters slow to a crawl too. This was easily, familiar, yet cold; like most of the things that start to come back to my memory lately, little insignificant recollections that send quick jolts of pain, be it emotional or physical. They say that eventually I would get every thing back, feel like I'm part of my family again. Or even start feeling like those almost familiar strangers are really my friends.
Her voice still echoes in my mind;
"Do you remember? We sat on a slab of rock."
But who am I to forget? We're strangers now, but only because I gave up. It upset her to believe that the only thing I remember is her voice, a whole person simplified and brought down to mere sounds, words, remnants of song, and sometimes laughter. It was never enough.
Its been a slow week, and a week I've spent alone, just like the last year and a half. Although it feels as though this week has been the loneliest.
I thread through the water, almost at the centre of the empty pool, watching with my eyes just above the surface, holding my breath as the sun sets slowly. I kick up, draw in a cold salty breath, and sink into the cold liquid, feeling it seep through my hair, and over my closed eyes. There is never a struggle when it came to something as simple as this. I fleet round for awhile, trying to stay under, with the sounds of still water, and the distant waves deafening my ears just that little bit.
It happened again, I found myself with a small overnight bag, not filled entirely, but packed with an extra set of clothes, a towel, and a bottle of water – just what I seemed to need, constantly and automatically there. The route just filled my mind and my body drove while my better thoughts wander, or rather ignore everything outside the empty. The new things are still there; job related things, bills, phone numbers, appointment with Dr. Reckol, but this was also a memory, one that I have no control over. It was the same beach, every month, for no apparent reason. Just like every month I would walk down from the concrete street with the bag and towel in hand, slowly onto the stone steps, and down towards the soft warm sand; heated with the remains of a strong sun from the day's good weather, or some days the cold sand with the specks of seaside rain. Whatever the weather, or anything else planned, this still happened every month. Some months I remember a few things, like smells; the smoky sweet smell of an extinguished wax candle, or sounds; a familiar voice or a tune. The same voice that I heard on the phone two months ago; "Do you remember..." Echoing with comfort, and yet filled with such tired hopelessness, even she thought it was futile. Still, I gave up first.
As I float back to the surface, moving slowly through the familiar pool, feeling blindly for the smooth cold rock wall at the end of the pool, pulling and pushing to emerge to sit on the edge, alone and reaching for my towel. The slight brightness left in the dusky horizon brings back another memory as I open my eyes; a thin slice of a chocolate cake. How fitting, it is my birthday after all, now that is something I cannot possibly forget.