I wasn’t going to post any creative writing junk on this site, but I had nothing else to say right now since everything is crazy and people are crazy and you’re out of order and I’m out of order and the vending machine is fucking out of order!!! So, here is an excerpt of a story I have been working on. It’s a bit flowery, or something. Read it. Breathe it. Live it. Lament the end of summer. Send cookies.
I can hear the rustle of the reeds outside my bedroom window. The warm breeze sends them into a hazy dance of bent bodies and extended arms. The darkness signals night, but I am too restless to sleep. I snuggle deeper under the bedclothes in search of comfort, my eyelids becoming heavier every inch I delve. I listen intently to the reeds, their music lulling me into a gentle song I know will eventually be my undoing. I try to stare up at the beamed ceiling, its dark cedar creating ominous shapes in the dark, but my eyelids flutter in protest. I turn to look at my bedroom door, painted a faded white and chipping from the summer humidity and the daily lake- watered towels drooping from atop the corner.
The little cottage creaks with adult noises outside my door. The wooden floorboards heavy with grown-up steps making their way to the glassed porch to watch the night sky turn a deeper twilight as the stars reflection bounce upon the lake water or the television declare an evening news program to be concluding for the night. I imagine they are sitting together on the little settee, having their late night drink thankful the kids are finally tired and tucked in for the night. I long to join them, my bare feet padding along the floorboards and snuggling in between them, my head resting on her shoulder, but I dare not move. I know they will not be upset as much as they would be worried. Are you sick? They would ask. Do you have a headache? They would be concerned. My fair skinned body out in the summer sun all day; in the rolling waves tumbling atop the inflated inner tube my brothers and I pranced and jumped day after day. Sunstroke, they would think. Fever, they would fear. Sunburn, they would lament. But no, even in the days when sunscreen was unheard of, they took expert care that my fair skin would not burn hidden furtively under a cotton t-shirt, and my face shaded under a sunhat placed securely on my strawberry blond head. I remained sheltered from swarming mosquitoes, my little body hidden inside the concave of his jacket as we ran along the dusty path during a dusk evening. Saved from myself as I was shuffled hurriedly indoors following an invitation to a young skunk by a singing of ‘here, kitty, kitty, kitty’.
Fast forward thirty years and I wish I could go back to those long hot summer days. We would walk bare foot along the stones to the path leading us to the dilapidated shed where the bikes were stowed away. We would run down to Lake Ontario, our bathing suits clinging to our bodies, the frigid water sending us into tides of joy and near hypothermia, blissfully unaware of any temperatures cooler than the hot sun beating down upon our necks or the dripping ice cream cones we slurped in an afternoon meant for laundry. I remember being embarrassed that I had been stripped down to my underwear at the local laundry mat waiting for our clothes to wash, but treated to an air hockey game and ice cream at the local variety store as if to make up for the public display of my flowery pink underwear. That was an Ontario summer. Full of water, sand, sun and cool nights with the reeds outside my bedroom window singing me to sleep in the little cottage that held all of us tightly in its embrace for a few short precious weeks.
13 thoughts on “Swimming in the Past”
Who knew the President of Canadia was so picturesque – and without using “flowery” language, too!
The other Canadians?
“Heavy with grown up steps” just brilliant
Thanks, Jim. High praise coming from you. 🙂
Was an absolute pleasure to read
If only I could write so evocatively. Great remembrance, O Great Leader. 😉
Thank you, Archon my faithful follower. You shall be rewarded for your loyalty, some day.