30 July, 2006 at 19:54 (Uncategorized) (, , )

It was as though I was swimming, pulling through some almost lucid reality, trying to surface and failing miserably. The colours swirled around me, my breath escaped in a sudden rush and eyes that were trying desperately to remain partially open (having come to terms with the fact they were not going to widen any time soon) closed decisively.

My arms stopped pulling, my body relaxed completely and I was dragged away by the current. Then the undertow caught me and the colours changed.

My eyes opened before the swirling had quite stopped.

The colours were bright, the greens blurred and twisted then focused sharply. Everything was bright. The sky, the sky that formed over the trees was unbelievably bright, the trees were the greens that kep twisting; their leaves blew in the cooling breezes.

“I think you fell asleep.” he said.

I blinked, still struggling with the current. He lay a hand on my shoulder, a suddenly heavy anchor that pulled me to him, to this grassy, bright day, dragging everything else behind me.
I emerged from the confusion of realities.

“Still dozy?” he grinned.
“Mmmm.” I was non-comittal, unsure of… well, anything.

He grinned, a wide mouth, pearlescent teeth showing. Then he turned his head and reached behind him. I blinked and he smiled again when he turned back, then leaned over and stole a kiss.
I was surprised, hadn’t we…? Wasn’t I someone else to him, not a girl to kiss? But those thoughts got lost somewhere in the sweetness of his lips and my mouth opened slightly…only to have him pull away and quickly place a small, surprising strawberry between my lips.

I giggled, choked, raised my hand to my mouth and nibbled on the sweetness there.

He laughed then.

“Is there anything else to eat?” I asked, hungry from all my swimming.
“You didn’t touch the picnic I made yet.” he said. “What would you like?”
And I saw spread out in front of us a feast of sandwiches, fruit, pork pies and the like. All spread out on the blanket we both sprawled across.

I ate quite a lot really. He didn’t seem to mind, in fact he smiled that wide grin several times more as I threw myself on the sandwiches.

“Anyone would think you’d been doing a lot more than doze.” he said.

I looked at him then, his clear eyes and his smile, and I decided not to tell him about the swimming and the competing realities. Even if we were something in the here and now, in the there and then he was my beacon, and his girlfriend would have something to say about the kissing and the strawberries. No reason to disrupt this here and now for the sake of there and then.

“Come on.” I said, standing and holding out my hand. “Lets walk.”
“Where?” he asked, looking around the small, grassy space enclosed on three sides by sandstone walls and on the fourth by tall trees.
“Here.” I said and began to circle the space in the opposite direction to the one the sun would take. I began at the north wall and trailed my hand, the one that was not holding his, against the sandstone. It was wonderfully rough and scraped against my nails. As we walked along the trees I broke nails against the bark.

“Careful.” he said and I wanted to tell him it didn’t matter.

Half way through the second circle we found it. A nest, full of trinkets as though some magpie had had an experienced fence instead of an eye for shininess. He noticed before I did.

“Isn’t that your bracelet? The one you lost?”
I turned to look. It was indeed my bracelet, in the there and then as well as this here and now. I had lost it long before he ever became my beacon, long before we had ever met. I cast my eyes over the contents of the nest, looking for something I did not know and would never know. I reached my hand out and pulled out a CD.

“Didn’t you lose this?”

He tilted his head curiously at me.
“It is mine…but I lost that…how could you know?”

I handed him the CD and slid on the cool plastic bracelet.
I kept walking, pulling him behind me.
My hand scraped against the softening sandstone and pulled through the gentle trees. Our circle decreased until we practically walked across the picnic blanket. I could feel the bracelet’s pull like the ebb of the tide bringing me back out to sea. We had almost completed the final circle, I waited until the last moment before I pulled my hand from his and returned myself to the depths, struggling to open my eyes.


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