The beaches are always deserted here, that’s why we come. We come to get away from the people that endlessly greet you round every corner, each face tired and unfeeling, the crowded impatient CBD, the overstuffed sweaty trains full of averted eyes, and the car fumed stench of the city.
We come to feel powerless to the forces of nature, a welcome relief from our daily jobs of arguing our point, and trying to get things done within the confines of red tape, while battling to get ahead. Career development, money, promotions, budget cutting, it’s all a power game really. One we vowed not to play, but find ourselves drowning in anyway.
The winds, the strength of the waves, and the pull of the riptide, they are power in it’s purest form, not selfish, demanding and egotistical like it’s human counter parts. The weathered sign reminds us of this: caution- rip tides along this beach, this beach has no life guards, swim at your own risk. It is not an old sign, but it has seen it’s fair share of battles. There are scratches on the sign board, it’s wisdom fighting to remain. We know we would lose everything if we ignored it, so we choose not to fight and instead allow ourselves to offer our reverence to the sea by never venturing in.
The world feels so chaotic, so torn, angry, just like the sea in these parts. But we choose to be free, here anyway. It is why we come and we come here often. With the city far behind us, we drive down the coast, past all the touristy spots. We roll down the windows of our Nissan, turn down the CD blaring out Gotye, or Sarah Blasko, hold hands over the arm rest, his pale arm resting lightly on his steering wheel, my veiny feet up on my seat. Our hair flies behind us, struggling to keep up, wind blown and dried out, just like that sign. We’ve let our guard down after passing the last town. We’ve choosen to surrender.
I pull out the video camera. There is something about videoing this deserted coastal road, as if this entire land belongs to us only. As if we own it. All this space, so big and vast, it makes us feel small after spending our city days believing we are big and important, puffing out our chests, and making our strikes with the click of the send button in our Email boxes. We never video tape the drive back.
On the beach the rumble of the crashing waves along the coast is so loud, you can barely hear the birds, not that there are many around anyway. It overpowers our thoughts, and numbs our human desires; we experience the closest thing to peace we’ve ever felt. We huddle until only a few rays of light remain, cold from the wind, and we listen. We feel. We walk back to the car numb, empty, yet truly alive.
We hold onto that feeling tightly as we return to the city, so tightly it hurts, each Email received jabbing into it, so we fight back to defend it, to protect it, until it’s all gone, and all that remains are empty hopes, and angry desires. That’s when we get in the car, we fill the tank with petrol, and we drive back to that beach. The one that’s always deserted, with a sign that’s looking as beaten down by life as we are. The one that will one day finally break and be replaced, just like us.
This piece of fiction was written for Creative Wednesday at World of My Imagination. It’s been ahwile since I’ve written some fiction, and I thought I’d give it a late night go. The prompt was the photo at the top along with a few key words (corner, video, CD, steering wheel, diving board), all of which have been placed in this story except Diving Board, I couldn’t quite get that word to fit.