A Walk on the Beach


    Returning from a morning of normal Saturday running-around chores & errands & having said nothing at all to you about it, I noisily sweep into the house smelling of barber shop after-shave & firmly separate you from the vacuum cleaner.  Taking you in my arms as if a returning war hero, I kiss you deeply, commanding, “put away your brooms, mops, noxious cleaners & any idea of arguing with me, WE are going for a ride”. 

You are directed toward the bedroom to change clothes with a swat on your pretty butt. It is the middle of the afternoon when we emerge from the back door.  The sun is warm & beats down on my old Chevy brightly, reflecting off of my pride & joy from high school, now relegated to work car status but just washed & waxed & looking like a royal red coach.  I open the passenger door & you slide across the familiar button tuck bench seat.  We ride & look around, singing along with the radio, but there is nothing new to see, so I, seeming aimless, point her toward the beach & let the engine unwind.  As we park the car you clap your hands & exclaim happily, "I love the beach!  Why didn't we think of this before?"

We step from the parking surface onto the beach & as we walk, our feet sink in. The fine warm sand tickles our city feet & presses up between our toes, squeaking like tiny mice. We race across the clean white surface down to the water to cool our feet. Unconsciously, I take your fingers in my hand. Swinging our arms together, we skip like happy children playing in the shallow foam.  What little wind there was is "laying" as we skirt the oceans edge, but the high, wispy, torn fabric clouds, the small puffy ones & the striated middle clouds are scudding quickly across a sun-tinted orange & multi-red hued sky out over the water in the distance, contrasting with the lingering deep blue still overhead & the silver of the gulf's smooth surface. 

Hand in hand we stroll slowly along the edge of the water letting it swish past our feet, at times misjudging its reach as it washes gently along the sandy expanse.  We pass the time quietly, soon leaving the popular part of the beach, enjoying our commune with nature, walking seemingly without purpose, at times our touching is intimate, our pace interrupted by a spontaneous embrace, lost in each other's presence.  Walking slowly, we nevertheless cover some distance & seem to lose track of time.  When you mention how far we have come & what time it must be, I pull some oyster crackers out of my jacket pocket to feed thegulls & other sea birds that have glided in to investigate the intruders.  My heart is full as I watch your face light up, childlike in your joy, applauding the birds’ ability to catch the treats right out of the air when you toss them.  Gently urging you along, we skip rocks across what the Chesapeake fishermen call a "slick cam." 

We stand still, clasped in each other's arms like frightened monkeys, gazing out over the sea as the sun shimmers & sinks down past the horizon, leaving only dim, tiny, orange-reflecting clouds as the last of a beautiful sunset.  It begins to darken quickly.  You say we should turn back & how far have we come?  Just a bit farther I say, seeming interested in what is just ahead around that next bend.  Then, as we approach the curve of the coastline, the beach widens & there, beside a small shelf or cliff, back up among several huge, twelve to fifteen foot high boulders, there is a faint iridescence.  Wrapping your shoulders in my jacket against the gradually chilling air, I tug you toward that glow.  There are a few chemlites stuck in the sand, their energy almost gone.  "Wait here for a minute", I request mysteriously. 

I slip into the edge of some trees that line the beach behind the rocks.  Backing toward you, I reappear dragging a fully set up tent, complete with blankets, pillows & sleeping bags.  Straightening out the blankets quickly, I disappear again into the trees only to produce a cooler full of ice covered fruit & Champagne.  Once more into the hiding place & I return with a couple of nets, a metal trashcan, & dragging a bundle of firewood, tied to which is a guitar & a radio.  Staking out a king-sized blanket in the entrance to the small tent, I smile my happy pleasure at your surprise.  I open the net & ask you to help me tie some small strips of bacon to it.  Then we take it to the oceans edge & cast it out into the water.  Striding back to our tent, your crooked smile shows fascination & pleased surprise at my preparations.  I begin to scoop a place in the sand for a fire.  We break up some twigs for kindling & I toss you a lighter before I busy myself untying the other supplies. 

Leaving the fire in your capable hands I run with the trashcan down to get some ocean water.  Returning exhausted with the can of water upon my head proves the tide is going out. There are few crabs in the bucket though, so I must return to recast the net.  This time, upon my return, I place the can of water with the two dozen or so clams in it in the coals of your fire & stack a little more wood around it.  Dropping down beside you on the blanket breathlessly, I lean into you & glance purposefully around the deserted beach as if to make sure we are alone before taking your hand in mine & stating, "you have no idea how much I love you, Baby."  After a soft but lingering kiss I proudly announce, "in a while we will have crab & campfire biscuits."  Sliding an arm around your waist, I relax against you & click on the radio.  As Nat King Cole croons "... Mona Lisa, you're so like the lady with the mystic smile..."  with a practiced flourish & a happy, satisfied, entirely too pleased with myself smile, I magically produce two Champagne glasses & reach into the cooler for the wine.  Standing on my knees, I pour our glasses to near the top with the nose-tickling liquid.  I settle & twist the bottle back into the ice & raise my glass in your direction.  "A toast... to the beautiful lady that makes my life complete."  I toss off the entire contents of the glass & lean in close to you once more.  I feed you strawberries with my fingers but then playfully try to steal them with my tongue.  Unsuccessful with the first one, I attempt again with a second.  We roll together in mock combat over the berries, giggling & laughing together before settling on feeding them to each other.  Soon our supply is gone & we snuggle with our heads together to catch our breath.  As Nat's velvet gravel voice serenades us with "Unforgettable...in every way..."  I prop myself up on one elbow lying close beside you sharing each other’s heat as well as that of the fire.  Taking in the beautiful fire, the beautiful stars, the beautiful ocean & the beautiful woman beside me, I sigh in contentment & happy satisfaction. Man! Life is good...