This is stream of consciousness from my efforts at NaNoWriMo last fall. This is fiction. I wrote 1,000 words a day for 30 days. This excerpt was selected at random this afternoon. This is raw data. For better or for worse, it’s unedited.
I finally arrive and set up as close to the ocean as possible. Only a few people are out. I stretch out my sheet and lay my belongings on top. I quickly strip down to my suit. It’s a simple black bikini this time, and I’m aware of a few appraising eyes glancing at my glutes. I tie my hair in a messy knot atop my head and stride toward the ocean. I sigh as my feet, right first, then left, touch the cool, clear water. The bottoms of my feet barely register the little shells underneath.
I walk on.
The water is to my ankles. My calves. I stretch my hands out, beckoning the water to me. Beckoning my spirit to it. I keep walking. My hips are underwater now. I stop and slide down, until the water is at my neck. On my knees, I am still. I play a game with the water, keeping my abs tight, trying not to move my body. It’s good exercise.
Once fatigue sets in I stand up and walk a little deeper into the water. The waves come toward me and I draw them to me with big sweeping gestures to pull the water in. a little ritual. I say a little prayer – I welcome all the blessings and love of the universe into my heart, into my life. I turn around, facing the shore. Starting at my chest, I push outward, pushing the water away. I say another prayer – I expel all of the thoughts and doubts and sadness that no longer serve me. I pray that all the negativity is transmuted for the good of all mankind.
I turn around and repeat this ritual several times. Then I just play in the water for awhile. Spying the few people in the ocean with me. Admiring the sun. I swat at the schools of fish to see what they’ll do. They change direction and keep moving. There’s a lesson in that.
After about 20 minutes, I decide it’s nap time. I stroll back to the beach and begin untying my hair. I towel off and spray the Banana Boat liberally on my exposed skin. I add sunblock to my face and don my floppy beach hat. I stretch out on my back and begin dozing to my favorite sound in the world.
I wake up a few times and turn over. Don’t wanna be too brown on one side. Eventually I can no longer ignore the gnawing in my stomach. It’s lunch time. It’s been a long time since I’ve eaten alone. I tell myself it’ll be fun. Like old times. Relearning to enjoy singledom and solitude?
I begin driving along the causeway just looking for someplace that might have some good fried oysters. I eventually stop at a Green Iguana. I know for sure they have good turkey burgers, and that would be yummy too.
How many? Asks the host. His spiked Mohawk just cool enough.
… Just one.
He begins to lead me to a table when I ask to go outside. I sit at one of the tall tables, remembering the last time I was here. Sophia and I met in person for the first time. She was a friend of a friend who thought it would be nice if we connected. It was. We did. Although I never saw her again after that. Our lives simply weren’t in sync.
I ordered the turkey burger I wanted. Avocado and pepper jack cheese. Lettuce, tomato. No onion. Fries. Yummy indulgences. I brush away tears from time to time. I savor each bite although I secretly want to wolf it down and get out of there as quickly as possible. Another round of tears I hide as those darn allergies. I even pull out a book to read. Zora Neal Hurston keeps me company. Probably not the most upbeat book in places, although it’s one of my favorites. Maybe I need to get a comedy or something more neutral that doesn’t involve relationships at all.
I think about going to Barnes and Noble to find another book. Then I remember, that’s where I met Daniel. I have a library card. I can go there instead. Or I can go home and download some ebooks.
I tell myself it’s okay. I’ll be okay. Today it’s just an exercise to prove to myself that I can be alone. That I can continue. Tomorrow I’ll do something similar. Go to my favorite dinner spot. Maybe I’ll even cook by the end of the week.
And one day, I’ll even remember what happiness feels like.
I posted a fiction excerpt one other time. Check it out here.
3 Replies to “Healing. An excerpt.”
Joanna, I hear what you’re saying, but imiagne what it feels like for me, growing up with all face-to-face interactions. It feels impersonal to hear so many people say Don’t make me work for it and My time is worth more than your info . Listen to how that sounds. I waited at a library counter all my young life to checkout a few delicious bits of reading material — and there was a limit on what I could check out! Young people now have no idea what it was like have to scrounge for inspiration and knowledge. Now you can suck it through a straw 24/7 in one bottomless Big Gulp! (For those of you in the UK, Big Gulp is a gigantic cup of soda pop here in the U.S. — excuse me if you already knew that.)I appreciate your support Joanna, all this time, and I do hope you don’t take this as a rant. But I have a reaction to the world saying Feed me! with such entitlement. Most young people don’t know (and a lot of older people must have forgotten) what it’s like not to have FREE access to other people’s thoughts, writings and art at your fingertips. It’s a gift. And I don’t hear any gratitude.
Wow Nik that was very touching, I almost shed a tear. I am so glad that you have Blue in your life now because you seem to be really happy and content. I do have a couple of things to ask (1) although you are enjoying life with Blue, do you think you can make time for a childhood friend (your sister) and (2) I’ve been reading your posts about Pearl Cleave’s new book that you are reading and I am interested in reading something by her. Is there a particular book that I should start with and/or what do feel should be my introduction to the wonderful author? Love and Kisses Always!
Thanks girlie! That’s from the novel I’m working on. In that scene my character is mourning the sudden demise of her relationship.
Pearl is awesome and this book is her journal. Most of her other books are novels. I really like I Wish I Had a Red Dress. I have a few at my mom’s house.
I definitely want to see you soon. It’s funny b/c I was JUST thinking that when I stopped by the house earlier this week. I’m rarely on the Southside these days, but we can work out something.