Wednesday, November 14, 2012

A few Hours in Another Life

Last weekend, I went on vacation.  That's pretty much a big deal for me, because I traditionally haven't had the sort of job that allows "vacations" -- they tend to be "a gaping hiatus that doesn't pay anything".  But this time, I had paid time off and everything!

I went to visit friends who live in Florida and generally had a enormously satisfying time doing all the things I love: talking, eating, and laughing.

But I also went to the beach!  Not a beach in New York, or a beach in Seattle, but an *actual* beach.  Where people do things like hit beach balls to each other, wear bikinis and cavort in waves.

Of course, because I'm living in Kansas, it never occurred to me that I might actually GO to the beach in Florida, so I went wearing my jeans.  Which was just as well, as I got slightly suncrisped on my head and forearms.

I can see why people love to go and sit.  It was relaxing, just sitting in the sand and listening to the sounds of birds, waves crashing, and the occasional car stereo.  The weather was beautiful (for November) and so it was not crowded.

And so my friend and I sat for hours.  We talked about relationships and friends and politics and my dating process.  After a period of time, we left the chairs and sand to visit the "good" bathrooms -- so named because they have doors and are not holes in the ground.  Then we walked on through the oceanfront village and bought ice cream.  Returning to our chairs, we chatted on.  We watched people, watched birds, watched clouds.

Shortly before we left, I trod down to the shoreline to at least submerge my feet.  After all, having never come to the beach before in my life, it would be a true oversight to leave after having been within meters of the sea strand.  The picture my friend snapped is attached to this entry.

It was a wonderful time.  A cleansing one, even (my friend commented that I always seemed to be exhaling long-held breaths).  But it felt like someone else's life.

It was the borrowed time of being in the company of someone I don't usually see, in a place that I don't usually visit, on a vacation I don't often take.  It was wonderful, but it was just shy of feeling... I don't know... illusory.

Clearly, I was there.  But nothing remains but the memories, and the chance that perhaps sometime NEXT year, I'll return and do it again.  Or perhaps I never will, and this will forever exist as one of those perfectly preserved "rooms" in my memory.

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