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30. The sandy shore



     It's lonely here, to stand in shifting sand, the view
across the horizon watery.  Heat-wave illusions of sun tanned
surfers and shapely, sunglassed bodies flicker across the beach.
"A bright summer's day", and even the seagulls seem golden.
     I start to stroll on the sands, always parallelling the
shoreline, a lesson taught to me by psychologists, and 
the golden gods and goddess part, shimmering, flitting out 
of existence as if on a flickering t.v. channel.  I feel the
warmth of their bodies, walking by them.  It's good to feel
hot like baking bread, rising with life, instead of the 
cold serene ocean.
     Once or twice a mile, a sharp fragment penetrates my
bare feet, whether a scalloped bit of shell, dried driftwood,
washed-up jellyfish, or beer bottle.  Usually it draws blood,
a little drop or a small puddle.  The sand doesn't mind, it
thirstily drinks what fluids one has to offer.  But the wound
stings like a malicious needle, prickling over and over 
along the smooth length of the sole.  Sand isn't likely to
soothe it, so I look across the dunes to the white-topped waves.
     Shuffling along with one good foot and the toes of the hurt,
I work myself to the wet shore.  The descent takes longer than
it used to when I was younger, when I stayed near the shore,
splashing.  I liked the wet chill, the breeze whipping
my damp skin.  Not anymore -- it takes a certain masochism
to endure the cold for long.
     But with a touch of the soothing waters to my bare sole,
and God!  how I miss the salty embraces, the cold, the calm
floating in deep sea.  I dunk my foot in whole, but the new-found
frgidity hustles me to the sandy shore.  The time apart has
tempered my nerves.
     For now, I've touched enough water to heal the wound.  The
bright sands are lonesome, deserted at times, but they offer
a richer solace than a watery surcease.  The hidden dangers, yes
they will prickle, but the wounds will heal.
     And the cerulean ocean, yes it will allure, always tempting
like a long-time lover.



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