We drove along the coast in a white van. The ocean looked strange but felt familiar, I couldn’t connect the emotions. I grew up on the west coast, always minutes from the sea. These days I was living in the desert and on trips home like this everything felt foreign.
There was nothing wrong with the ocean, I forced. I turned to my best friend, sitting at my side.
“I can’t wait”.
I moved again - I was restless - back to the window. Again, I focused on the water. The ground moved too quick. A sail in the distance was bobbing; all of the boats were bobbing. The water looked low, it was pulling away by some means beside the tide. I felt I understood the ocean, its changes well enough to know when something was unique. It came from a deep desire to make sure I witnessed all beauty, as it transforms, splits from normalcy. An impossible task, but an effort of love.
I was now witnessing one of these moments.
The shore began to expand. Wet, virgin sand, before hidden by layers of clear water, was revealed. Uncomfortable, raw, no longer magnified and crystallized - instead, angry. It was exposed to me and I felt safety move farther and farther from us. We were being confronted. A couple of the others had noticed, glanced for awhile and turned back to their conversation. Change went unnoticed. Calm was everything inside our shell.
No. Something had happened, was happening. The waves had halted their repetition; everything grew larger and then held itself frozen in time. Suddenly, half of my world lunged forward. The land was insignificant in its shadow. The wall was upon us before I had a chance to react or signal the others. What would that have mattered anyhow?
Words are mere noise in a battle against natural force.
I grabbed her hand and instantly she saw it too. We pulled closer as our steel box popped, the windows smashed, held strong, covered white, solid, like a wet, blank canvas. Surrounded, everything flipped and spun - weightless. For a few seconds we were safe in our sanctuary of oxygen. I was breathing under water. We had time to grab each other, hold one another as if clinging to the years of our friendship. Everything fell away, all my emotions, my thoughts, regrets - gone. I held onto the moment as if it contained my entire life. It did, like all moments. It passed, trading space with a new instant. In the next, we wouldn’t be able to resist the power of the present, we too would be made clean, blank again. We would be alone. We tried, we held each other, closed our eyes - despite it all - as everything exploded.