I don’t know what we are; smooth scaled and slimy. The residue of a thousand kisses clinging to our bodies like algae on the sides of a neglected tank. Slough it off, those memories that do better without us. People untangled from ourselves.
His grandmother warned me as we packed up the kayaks for a new adventure. Wear a life jacket, she said. That lake is known for taking prisoners, the plants that reach up to the surface and clench tightly around wrists and ankles, pull us down. There was a boy who drowned there last year, she told me. Don’t take any risks.
I can’t help it. I trail my fingers along the crest and open my eyes under water. I dive head first into shallows and embrace the lake floor, my fists closing around sand and stone, particles drifting up, glinting in the soft light of afternoon.
I take pictures without film and get them printed immediately at the grocery store. Flipping casually out of a machine. I miss the wait of development. I miss film canisters. Little treasure troves where we could store beads, fools gold, baby teeth. It’s so immediate, now. I tell time in album folders on my computer. I remember my life in snap shots and delete what is irrelevant to the story I am writing today.
Heartbreak in footnotes edited away. Happiness floating face up just below the surface, distorted.
Seaweed fingers sticking to our thighs as we
wade back in.
Bedouin Soundclash feat. Coeur De Pirate – Brutal Hearts