I’m at Cape Cod for the week, but my mind still remembers that time at sandyhook, nj, several years ago.
Out to the rocks, green furred clams attached below the water level. My body is half submerged, feet dangling in suspension. Trying to swim against the current to the shore. So many horizons about me. 180 degrees of sky, degrees of water, and if I flail hard enough, I can see the shore. My breath is hot against my waving arms, my feet are numb but i notice my silver medical bracelet feels so heavy on my wrist.
My wife, in her black and white polka dot swim suit. Last year she wouldn’t go to the beach because she was embarrassed about her psoriasis. We got her creams and sessions at a local light box specialist. Every time a new scab came up on the back of her legs, her arms, her back, she would get so sad. But the light box and creams have been working well and we got her into her ancient swim suit and she seemed, happy even. I can feel the current swell. Rising me up and down, like a heavy breathing. my body is useless against it’s body and soon, there is nothing.
* * *
It took the lifeguards half an hour. They found him because of the shimmer of the silver bracelet. Wife ashen, kids sunburnt and noses running, they nod gravely as the teenage lifeguards pull the body to shore. Crowds gather and the sound of their voices are almost drowned out by the heavy white tipped waves. Her mind is flashing: mortgage, arrangements, parents, kid’s tuitions, the last time they had sex, last night’s dinner, his last words, and then nothing.