A Day at the Beach
I was perched on the rim of a rock pool, paddling my feel idly in the almost still water. Ahead of the little enclosed spot where I sat, the pool twisted out through a furrow, and led on into the endless sapphire ocean. Ever so often a larger than normal wave would strike the beach, and the impact would send a little shiver of excitement through the water in the pool as well. It was quite cool, despite the sun bearing down so harshly. The horizon was nothing but a sheet of blindingly lit mirror, as the ocean tried to throw the sun back into the sky. All he was really managing was a near epileptic disco ball imitation. I was blissfully unaware of all the convoluted interactions going on outside. My spot near the scraggly copse of trees was shady, and comfortable. So comfortable in fact, that I was almost sleepy, even with my feet in the pool. I closed my eyes and leaned against the nearest trunk, idly paddling in the crystal clear water. There were pebbles there, in the shallow side. I should remember to get a handful back, the next time I go. Smooth and round, bluish gray, I could feel them under my toes. They’ll give me some beautiful dreams from my bedside, with all they’ve seen..
A cold wind ran through the leaves and over me, surprisingly chilly. I opened my eyes to see that the sky had darkened considerably. The sun was half drowned and somewhat put out, glowering from where he was partly under the waves. The pool too was quaking softly, excitement seemingly replaced by a sense of foreboding. I wasn’t sure how long I’d been there, but I sat up straight and pulled my sketching pad out. I’d come to draw and I might as well have drawn that ship out at sea as anything else.
Death came to me, and sat close by. I looked over contentedly, not in the least put out by having to share my secret spot or my solitude. He’s a regular companion, and today the poor fellow just looked exhausted. He smiled wanly and I passed over my bottle of lemonade, still somewhat cool. He drank and passed it back, with a silently mouthed thank you. We just sat there, me drawing, him watching the tide bring him more work. I was done with about three pages already, but the quiet companionship was a peaceful moment that I didn’t want to break. He rarely took a beat to catch his breath, and it already looked like he was going to have a long night, what with the gathering storm.
Light came to me, giving me a start, really. She has this way of creeping up on me, almost always catching me off guard. Only recently I’ve started to notice that she’s there or arriving, by the absence of shadows. It’s a roundabout way of doing things, but effective so far. She sat down on the other side under a tree, tucking her pale legs underneath her. Ignoring Death again. I hate it when she does that. Death needs a little light too sometimes, just as evanescent light needs to come to death eventually, but she’s very begrudging about it. You’d think that by now she’d be more graceful about it all, but ah, she’s a stubborn one. Death gave me a part sorrowful, part I-don’t-really-care look, but sidled closer to me all the same.He seemed more grumpy than tired now, and I suppose I knew why, I could see him coming too.
Night came to me, and threw his arms wide in cheery announcement. Tossing his blanket far and wide, in his flamboyant velvety purple way. I Iike him, Night. He’s a good one, when he’s not being petulant or moody, or all hyperactive and not letting me sleep. Still, he’s only human, and I can’t hold that against him. We all have out faults.
Light seemed quite put out by not being the center of attention any more. After a few awkwardly spaced conversations, she took her leave and sidled down the road in her wordless, gliding walk. Both the boys were deep in conversation. Night was telling death all about the New Moon. She’d been missing since a few days and now had shown up suddenly, thin and sickly looking. Death didn’t like the Moon so much. She was out of his reach, what with her immortal waxing and waning. He told Night as much, and the talk went on into another hour.
I suppose I fell asleep somewhere in the midst of all this. At some point Death picked me up and carried me home, and put me to bed. Night, the sweetheart that he is, decided they’d stay with me till the sun came up. I tend to wake up suddenly if I’m alone in the house, and both of them know this. Which is why they fixed a few snacks and settled to watch tv down the hall from where I slept. Don’t know what I would do without them. These guys, they round off my world, really.
I snoozed my way till much past dawn. (Snored a little too somewhere. Hopefully no one was around or I’ll never hear the end of it). Woke both the boys fast asleep in my living room. One on the sofa, one on the settee. It’s always a sight, all their long lanky limbs folded into my pint sized furniture. Fixed a quick breakfast for us all. Night just crawled into my bed and fell asleep. Death tanked up on the contents of my coffee pot, and dragged himself to finish off the work he’d left lying around.
As for me? I didn’t get too far. Turns out when I opened the door to let the cat out, Morning was already there on my door step, waiting for me. ..