Is anyone even reading my Spain stories anymore? I know there are a few (a very few) stalwarts, but I'm beginning to wonder if it's even worth the effort.
29 May 2008. 7:54pm.
We sat there, the two of us, for the better part of the afternoon. I should have been studying, but what can I say?
Sometimes you just have to neglect stuff like that in lieu of more pressing concerns.
The sand was warm on my toes, the sun beating down on me, reddening my strawberry nose and tanning my exposed arms and legs, until she splashed me, the cool water running over my feet and through the fine hairs on my toe-knuckles.
I sat down in the wet sand, right along the shoreline. She began to whisper in my ear, telling me everything I wanted to hear from her. Lies, I'm sure, but comforting and reassuring nonetheless.
I started to mold the thick, wet sand through my fingers, taking some and making a ball, rolling it in my palms like a child with Play-Doh. Her voice was low, quiet, right in my ear as she asked, "What are you doing?"
I smiled and replied, "I don't know. I think I'm going to build a sand castle."
Her response was chilling. "Go ahead. You know I'm just going to wreck it anyway."
After a moment's hesitation, I continued, "That's okay. I'm going to do it regardless."
"I know. It's one of the reasons I love you. Defiant to the end," she said breathlessly, almost menacingly. A series of beats like a frozen xylophone danced up and down my spine.
But I started to build it anyway, quickly digging out a moat to protect my chunk of sacred ground from the advancing tide. I worked almost feverishly, constructing parapets and towers, erecting walls to defend against the advancing enemy. After devoting my time and efforts to it for a while, it was shaping up nicely.
Suddenly she splashed water all over my nascent castle, pulling down the walls and wrecking my parapets. I threw up my hands in desperation, exclaiming, "Fine! You win. I'm done building the castle."
"Good," she whispered. "Just sit here with me."
So I sat, the tide creeping up the beach, getting in my swimsuit and cementing my sinking hands into the sand. The beach bustled with activity, filled with people sunbathing and children frolicking in the waves.
After a long silence I spoke to her. "I miss when the beach wasn't this crowded and we could be alone, just you and me."
She answered, "These other people don't matter. Just imagine it's only the two of us.
"You keep coming back to talk to me. You hear my siren song. These other people don't hear me, don't listen to me. You do.
"Now stop playing on the beach and come to me."
I leapt into her cold, wet, inviting embrace and swam.