This year has been a year of questions. This year has been a year of waiting. This year I feel someone came and hacked off all my hair in a reckless, hasty way and all I can do is sit and wait for it to grow. I'm shaking like those bald chihuahuas who don't know what they want. Snacks? Sleep? A sweater? They don't know that what they need is a carefree run in the tall grass to sort themselves out. Those kinds of dogs make me nervous. And now I'm one of them. There is all this stirring and clanging inside of my chest. Like running shoes in the dryer, shoes banging against my rib cage. Like a house with boarded up windows, but you have a feeling the lights are on. My heart is up to something, I just can't see inside.
There is a bay near where I grew up that completely empties of water when the tide goes out. The sand stays dark and heavy no matter how long the bay is empty, holes above where the clams lay so they can breathe. When you walk out to go find the water the sand cakes to your toes, making your steps heavy. Kelp black and green and damp, still damp, like the water was there, just, and you merely missed it. The salt water pools in puddles, when you look out it looks like mirrors are littering the sand. When I go home and visit the bay I would always wonder what it would be like to walk to the middle of the bay and wait, and watch the water inch back to the shore, the edge of the sea rolling back lazily like ripples of silk. I would wonder what it's like to stand and wait, does it take days, does it happen all at once, how long would I have to stand there before the sea was at my ankles, knees, hips, washing over my shoulders, soaking my hair. I get it now, though, I know it so well I can taste the salt; it takes forever. It will take an eternity, when you're standing in what basically looks like a desert, just waiting for the whole sea to appear. When you're waiting to be engulfed by the ocean, it will take your whole life, and then, when you can't even open your eyes to look where the sky meets the sand, you can't even look up to see what isn't happening, there will be a bubbling at your feet, and then a pouring in. When you're waiting for the ocean in a desert it will take forever, and then you will laugh, wondering why you ever doubted what the earth and moon have been doing forever, moving the ocean from one side of the world to the other. I guess we can allow such a feat to take a bit of time.