I went to her today. When the pull of the deep became too much, and the coy eye-contact from the morning train grew tiresome, and sitting at my desk awaiting the perfect moment began to feel like betrayal. I packed up my things and I went to her.
I wandered trancelike past the Pavilion and half-remembered a mulled-wine kiss in a king’s bedchamber, back when all this was only beginning. I shook myself from winters past and focused on the quickening saltine scent that led me on. It wasn’t long before I glimpsed her at the bottom of the hill – as I’d glimpsed her so many times before – glistening in momentary sun, the same as ever, yet ever changing.
She asked me what had kept me so long. I told her I’d been drifting.
She laughed, with a sudden flash of white-crested wave.
“You don’t know half of it,” she said.
I picked my way down the pebbled enbankment and stood, waiting for waters to swell around my shoes. Red bag clasped firmly under one arm, I bent to trace my fingers through the bracing brine, and clenched my fist tight against the sudden shooting cold.
I carried that first icy touch with me up the Grand Parade, until the salt crusted on my knuckles. And with it I carried the gentle inhale and exhale of tumbling stones that would soon mark the rhythm of my days.