Sunday, March 29, 2015

Rats in the Basement

     My love and I are sitting on the sand at Wreck Beach. There are maybe fifteen other people down here and only one of them is naked at this clothing-optional site, so I mischievously suggest that we remove our clothes. The day is surprisingly warm for March and we've just biked here so we're sweaty: seconds later we are naked in the sand, comfortably propped up against a log, gazing out to sea.
     From Wreck Beach you can see water spreading out before your eyes; you can also see planes taking off from the airport. I wave saucily at one. The planes and the beach are uncomfortable reminders on this happy day with my guy: reminders of planes that didn't make it, and of starving sea lions not so far from here.
     "I just want to die happy," I say. "I want to die 20, 30, 40 years from now not trying to remember how life was before some kind of cataclysm." I nuzzle my nose against his cheek, where I go to imprint his smell in my brain. "And I don't want anything bad to happen to you."
     "I just want to live happy," he answers, my guy who is practical and funny and kind and loving and tough and infuriating and stubborn and gentle and smart.
     Are we hurtling towards the end? Guess what: we all are, whether the ice melts or not, whether our water runs out or not. I try to keep a balance between burying my head in the sand and knowing what's going on in the world because too much news is bad news and too much bad news is like opening your basement door and seeing thousands of rat eyes staring back at you. When 9/11 happened I remember literally wanting to stop the world and get off, because nowhere felt safe.
     This is it, this is the world we're stuck with. I scrunch my toes in the sand and send up a silent prayer of thanks that I have the luck to spend a lazy Saturday with someone I love. We brush off the sand and don our clothes again and I challenge him to see how many stairs we can run up on our way back to the bikes. We are alive, we are in love, we are healthy. For now that's plenty, that's enough.

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