Before I Found God

I looked into the mirror and couldn’t recognize who I had become.

Tiredness lined my eyes like charcoal eyeliner. There was something about my jaw that reminded me of concrete. Soft, where did you go? Peace, please come back to me.

I decided to take a walk down to the beach in hopes that the waves would wash away my feelings. As I walk out the door with my wine colored overcoat and black boots, I remembered that I hadn’t eaten all day. Food could wait. My impatience couldn’t. Step after step, I passed a tourist who looked happy and held by bliss. Children ran after one another, one started to cry. Cars went by. slowly. The world continues to revolve. As I reach the beach’s common foot traffic I slowed my pace and tried to slow my heart rate. Step after step, beat after beat.

The sunset was far but I could see a pinch of faded orange in the corners of the sky. I couldn’t believe how many people were out in the water playing despite the cold temperatures. Laughter reached my ears and I looked at a young blossoming girl with brown curly hair run after a boy who could have been her brother. It reminded me of how I use to love chasing after my brother when I too was just a child. Now I only chased dreams.

Seagulls walked the shores looking for food in the sand. I wanted to see one raise up and fly straight to the sun. Up, up, and away. The birds continued on the sandy grounds.

As I continued down the board walk I took in the people who sat on benches and looked to the waters. Some of them stared back at me. When our eyes met I felt I had intruded on their secret thoughts, just for a moment until they looked away. My eyes left them and continued to the next. I couldn’t help but assess what they were wearing in hopes that I could see a part of who they were. Soft velvet stared at the overcast sky. Jeans and plaid looked straight ahead. Black button up sank their eyes into the ground.

On and on I walked thinking about how emotions make us do the damnest things. I took one deep breath and curb the urge to drop to my knees and cry. A skate boarder rode by and barely touched my coat at the elbow. I wished I could have absorbed his happiness, but he rode on and my sadness remained constant. I stopped in my tracks and turned to the sea.

A lovely oceanic horizon pleaded below a dull sky. It would have been nice to walk straight into the water, farther than the waves, past the surfers who sat bobbing up and down, until I was alone enveloped in the body of a current that could only carry me farther from reality.

How did I get here? I blinked away my delusions and looked to my left at the setting sun. It was still too bright to not squint. If I had wings I wouldn’t be like those stupid seagulls. I’d fly straight to you, sun. Straight and without hesitation. All around me sounds of life rang. Families speaking in tones of normality. Lovers making promises in silent glances. Children soaked in innocence. Life was brilliant and it didn’t give a damn how sad you were.

I turned away. Took a deep breathe.

One step at a time, I walked further into the path of being lost.


Lindsay Reva

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