It Was

Inspired by today’s prompt: Giant

While listening to this piece, I could take these enormous emotions and spell them out.

Christmas hair decorates the length of his neck, resting on the collar of his faded button up. He ties it up with a leather strap on his wrist. Shaky hands struggle with the knots. He moves on to the buttons on his shirt. Every undone clasp is a release. Thankfully his belt slides off easily – he’s had to cut more notches in it with the pocket knife the missus gave him two birthdays ago. It seems like more years than that. Her headstone is already weathering.

He thinks about her as he stands in his boxer briefs in front of the ocean. Taking in the way the salt seems to erode his chest, he embraces the taste of sand with each giant breath he takes. Slowly, she whispers to him with the lick of the water on his ankles. He looks out across the expanse of rolling waves and notices how the currents look like the wrinkles in his forehead. Touching his temple self-consciously, he allows the memory of her to sweep him into the tide.

lafur-arnalds-this-place-was-a-shelter

On the beach, lost in a pile of his clothes, is his wallet with his I.D. and the keys to his home.  A note sits on his kitchen table with fresh flowers and instructions.
The sun tickles his back in an effort to make him smile, but the prickle of heat is lost in the frigid cold of the ocean. All he has in his hands are their rings.

He leans back into the current, letting the waves grab onto the parts of his body that haven’t been hugged since his wife passed away, and he sinks. For a brief moment, he wonders how far he will let this go. His eyes are closed tightly; he wraps himself in ball and allows his weight to be an anchor. In the fetal position, the water encompasses him like a shelter. It used to be. It was their place.

He lets go of the rings and can’t bear to see them float down. Only then does he reach for the warmth of the sun.

 

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