Stories for Lent: #28 Memory Spell

Sad, sad, sad, sad, sad, I wrote in my journal, again and again, as the day slipped away and no writing was getting done.

Sad, sad, sad, despite running and doing useful things.

Sad, sad, sand. Grains scattered into the wind as I threw a handful in a boy’s eyes. Sand in my hair and under my nails, sand in my IV line, blocking it, after I fell down – an accident-that-wasn’t-quite an accident. Childish things. Growing pains.

Sand, sad, sand. Watching the moon rise, big and full, over the turbulent sea after an afternoon on the beach.

Sand, sun, sand. Chasing the dawn across the coastline, seagulls chasing me, bits of garbage hanging from their beaks.

Sad, soon, sand. Minutes slipping by, a blissful timelessness, in high noon.

Sun, sad, sand, surf. Giddy joy as my feet hit the water. The wicked delight in walking all the way home without wearing my elastic stocking. My foot swells and I don’t care. I have enough time to rest it.

Sand, sad, sun. The empty garden next to ours, corpses of plants in the corner and the ghost of cat paws in the soil. I remember waiting excitedly for new kittens to be born, naming one to call my own, feeding it kibble and teaching it to climb stairs. I remember being sad when their mothers would take them away from us, joy when they came back, when they grew into fine cats, when they recognized my voice when I came back each year.

I cried my eyes out when one of those cats died, killed by some trigger-happy wanker in our neighborhood.

Sand, sad, sand. Grains falling from a towel after my hanging it out. Grains into my bed, regardless of how well I washed my feet.

Sand, sun, sad. Walking through a pile of seaweed and cutting my toe on a broken shell. Hobbling home to have the offending grit removed with splinters.

Sand, surf, sad. The sea washing away my misery after a long journey. Counting the days since I was last at the beach – one, two, three, six months, nine, a year, two years. I’m a sad badger.

Sand, surf, sun, sad. Sad. Sad. Sad. Memory playing tricks on me as my hand keeps on moving across the pages. I’m weaving a spell, trying to invoke summer, every summer, every summer that mattered, as the sky grows gray outside and the wind makes the trees bend their heads and the rain pelts the ducks. I’m looking for summer, and I’m crying inside.

They buried my aunt yesterday.


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