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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Lingering dreams

    I had not been down this beach in what seems like ages. The setting sun, sandy beach and the waves as they lap up against the feet always seemed to mesmerize me. Pulling up a beach chair, my eyes start to wander down the beach and see that life is in full swing. Children building sand castles, pretty young things tanning themselves and an odd couple or two walking down the beach whispering sweet nothing. Time seemed to float by at its own pace as the sun lazily made its way across the clear blue sky. Packing my stuff, I dropped off the chair and umbrella at the drop point and started to wander off to the lone building to satiate my hunger. The smoke filled room greeted me as I entered my long forgotten hunting ground. Time had flown by, yet it seemed to have stood still in this place. The juke box near the entrance was still there pumping out some long forgotten Willy Nelson song, an empty stage once full seemed to cry out for attention while the bar at the other end seemed as lively as ever. Tom still seemed to the only permanent structure besides the other items and his eyes seemed to light up seeing me. Pulling up a stool, my hands reached out as a tall frosty slid comfortably into my hands.

    Time seemed to flow by slowly and I had lost track of time. It was almost closing time when I heard a voice as soft as the wind chimes yet as sharp as the sharpest knife reminding me its closing time. Turning my head around, I saw a sight that seemed to mesmerize me and kept me under its spell till a booming laughter startled me. A chiding voice of Tom asked me if I didn’t recognize his little child whom I had last seen many moons back. Time had indeed flown by and the little child had blossomed into a young lady, one which I simply could not recognize.

    I had known Jane since childhood, yet she was always the type that kept to herself and mingled only when she wanted to. Today was one of those days which reminded me of my childhood days when the fireside talks and camping trips used to last from dawn to dusk. Time flew by as the food was finished, drinks ordered and drained to the last drops and the food joint emptied out till there was no soul in sight yet it seemed like we had not caught up on our lost lives. The joint slowly started to shut down and we were forced to seek refuge upstairs in the bedroom.

    The dreamless sleep in which I was lost in was shattered by the radio alarm which blared out some song as the faceless man moaned about the changing weather patterns and sudden storm which might hit the town in the night. The constant chatter of the radio jockey started to push the bone deep sleep ever so slowly away. He talked just about everything under the sun and I really seemed to enjoy the monologue which consisted of how awful the weather was, the food joints, who bashed whom last night at the bar and how much the town had changed in the last ten years.

    Still half asleep, I started to mumble Jane’s name and started to extend my arm to drag her a little closer. An empty bed, wrinkled bed sheet and an empty pillow yet no warm body. My hand started frantically run back and forth as my mind became agitated and sleep lost its hold on me. The sound of a tugboat while blaring out its whistle drew me out the dark thoughts I was floating in. I slowly came to the senses like a snake waking up from deep sleep. The bone deep weariness fell off me and I slowly started to felt refreshed. The sounds of men and heavy machinery were heard humming by below and another lonesome ships horn went off somewhere in the distance reminding me how far from home I was.

    Waking up from a deep sleep, I got out of the bed. My body was stiff and muscles sore from the events of last night. Looking at the empty bed, I called out Jane’s name out loud yet the empty house just echoed back. The room was once more as empty as it was the day before. Throwing the bed sheet off, I sat on the edge and wondered what happened and what my next course of action will be. The old clock hanging on the wall down in the hallway boomed as the hand struck ten. It startled me out of the deep thought I was in and I only realized this by the fact that the alarm clock radio had stopped playing the same old songs I had heard for the last many years and the lights were shut off except for the place where we were lying on bed. The clothes were scattered all over the room. The little diversion had turned minutes into hours. The bed sheets were soaked and I hunted for a new set before the maid came in the morning to chide us for making such a mess. I turned my head to look out the window. I saw that there it was partly cloudy sky; a full moon seemed to look down at the land as if looking for something. The star lit night made me wonder what my future holds.

    The memories still seemed to haunt me as I had asked her “You still awake?” as I had ran my fingers down her bare arm. Taking a deep breath, she shook her head she mumbled in the negative. Not able to find neither my pants nor shirt, I walked around the bed to stretch my legs hoping that the curtains were drawn and hoped to find my way back home before I fell asleep here. Looking out the door, I saw that the street lights showed empty streets and the town seemed deserted except for the few drunks who weaved through the roads and the sounds stray dogs that were busy chasing a few cars that passed through the town main intersection lulled me off to sleep once more.

    The night slowly turned into day. Time rolled on till I lost track of time. I had all but forgotten about Jane’s visit and the events that seemed like happened in another lifetime until I pulled the sheets and pillow covers out onto the floor. After a few moments, my hands reached out and picked up the folded piece of paper. Standing in the flickering shadows, I opened it and started to go through the content of the letter.

    “Hello dear,

    If you ever read this note, then I hope you are able to understand and maybe forgive me as I just did not to say it to you when you woke up. It seems like we are not meant for each other and sometimes peoples path cross, yet to separate once more. It’s just that I have changed my mind and decided to chart out a new destiny for myself leaving everything behind. It was a hard decision and it takes awhile for a person at times to make course correction in their life when they are set in their ways. I am glad that I have decided to restart my life and accept the responsibilities that it offers. New adventures await you at every turn and new sights to see at every bend. I really don’t know where I’ll be or even if I’ll be around when you finally decide to head out to reclaim your own destiny. Yet, I’ll be back to meet you one last time when the time is right.

    I hope you are able to put the past into proper perspective and so that the old memories don’t come back to haunt you in your sleep or in your waking moments. Failures and the guilt associated with it sometimes weigh us down more than the unfinished business itself. The future is unwritten and the past can still be undone. I’ve been meaning to ask you to go through your finances in those shipping companies. I got thinking that it must have crossed your mind that you’ll never need it and yet at the same time not wanting to get rid off either. It took many long years to build up the portfolio and it’s time to touch base with them once more and pull out as much money as possible. You are an old salt and you’ll feel right at home once you got your own ship plying the sea lanes as the salty sea winds ruffle your hair, waves pound the ship and you follow the stars to new shores. I’ve pulled the papers out for you and it’s on the table near the window. Pull up a chair there and flip through it once more. The coffee pot should still be in the corner, though it might be a tad dusty by now. So go ahead and grab some coffee before hitting the road.

    With best regards,


    I sat there a little stunned and it took me a few moments to come back to my senses. So many long years vaporized in an instant. It seemed like a dream gone sour and the lingering bitterness made my heart turn to stone. I looked around wondering if Jane was still here and all I saw was an empty room. The emptiness weighed down on me and it made me realize that I really did missed the gal no matter how cheated I felt. I had no idea where I’ll find her or where to look for her. It took me a moment to find the phone directory. It took awhile to get what I wanted and finally I closed the long forgotten book and started to think things out.