You don’t enjoy watching the sunset as much as I do. “I know you don’t think it’s amazing”, I say. “I know”, once again answering to your inquisitive eyes that will not stop judging mine. And I get it: an invitation to do what we are doing now would be dismissed by me as a joke a few years ago, but not now: now I am the fool who invites people like you to the kind of thing in which they see no point.
To be fair, you were here before I was. It’s not like I came to your door and made you come with me; the sky was blue and the birds were flying high while you watched them and I passed by. It could be nice for us to share this moment together, that’s all.
But I’m not what ruins the moment for you: it’s the beach. It’s the sea, the receding waves that don’t ever stop, the sunbeams waving goodbye only to come back the next day, the sand spreading in between your toes, the kids laughing as they run around us, the dogs woofing as they play with their owners and their dog friends, all these sounds and people and situations that fill your head: the fact that it will happen again tomorrow and then the day after tomorrow and then next weekend. And it bothers you: it annoys you: it saddens you: you despair.
I just wanted you to enjoy the sunset. ‘I get that you don’t like the sand’ I say, sitting down near you. ‘I don’t like it either. To be honest, it sucks. I’d rather they were tiny rocks, you know? There are beaches like that. They are amazing.’
‘I doubt they are. They can’t be much better than this one: and this one is awful.’
‘I wish I could take you to a beach like that right now, and then maybe you’d see. I had never been to a place like that until last summer, and wow! They’re awesome, seriously. I know you haven’t seen one, but they are.’
‘It doesn’t matter. I’m not in such a beach. And I just want to leave. I think I will, soon.’
‘I’d be really sad if you left. I know that it feels like the only option, but it isn’t. And… how can I convince you? I can’t, really. This scenery is not the best one’ I say, clutching a handful of sand and letting it slip through my fingers, instantly regretting it as the wet grains refuse to let go of my hand ‘But it’s the one we’re in for now, and, you know… Maybe make the best out of it?’
‘I don’t think you understand. All I want is to leave. And I’m certain I will, pretty soon’ your eyes stare nothingness: the seriousness in your voice is the anchor of my heart that sinks to an unforeseen bottom. I feel you slipping through my fingertips and not wanting to hold them, not wanting to touch any part of the earth anymore, unlike the sand that still scratches the palms of my hands when they rub against one another.
I feel you slipping through my fingertips. Why? I don’t know what to do. You helped me through hating this place. I remember one day, we were sitting right where we’re sitting right now, and I remember I said the same things you’re saying now.
“I’m leaving. I need to leave”, I said.
“Everybody leaves when they get the chance. And one day it will be your chance, but it’s not right now. It doesn’t make any sense for you to make your hurried exit now, when you and I both know that that exit will happen one day anyway, because it must” you did not look at my face, not even once, and instead you continued your speech as if it were directed to all the people in the world: “Enjoy this place while you’re here: it’s shitty sand, we know it. It’s a shitty town with shitty people and the sea looks as if it were both sick and angry at the same time, and it’s not a good look. But it will all be over one day, and you will miss this sickly-green sea, and the stupid people saying stupid things, and you will see that there was and is beauty in them. And there are things you can pursue here.”
It wasn’t that speech by itself that changed my mind, but eventually something else did. The speech helped a lot though: I still repeat it to myself when I feel like kicking all the sand back into the sea, when I feel like insulting every seagull that crosses my path before I take a bus to nowhere. Why can’t I convince you? You’re smarter than me, it must be that. I’m out of words: you wipe a tear from your right eye [the only one that’s able to cry] before I see it; but I see it. It makes me want to cry as well, but I don’t. You’d think me stupid if I got up to sit closer, so I don’t. I’m caged inside myself with my feelings for you running amok and I don’t know how to reach you through this wall of air that not even the sharpest of all diamonds could pierce.
‘I’m coming here tomorrow with my students, did I tell you that? I’m going to teach them the physics of the waves. Agh, it’s going to be awful, but I have to teach them something that they can understand’, your mouth does the best job at deflecting a subject.
We sit still and talk trivialities as the day comes to a close.
For how long will you still be here?