The Sun Still Does Shine (excerpt from Magpie in August)

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Here I am, pulling into the resort, and I can’t remember passing a single landmark these last two miles. Mom hasn’t spoken at all since leaving the city beach. At least I didn’t hear her say anything.

No, she’s just been smoking, riding along, and losing time of her own; wandering her corridors. She’s found another dark place to hang about. I know because she’s crying again, though dry and silent.

Coming here is a challenge for her, too. I don’t acknowledge that fact nearly enough.

“I’ll go get our key.” I’m not going to wait for her to answer. Let her be alone in the quiet car to sweat, if that’s what she wants to do.

The passing storm has taken most of the humidity, but not the heat. August has quickly recovered. The swimming pool is full of noisy bodies, and so is the lake, stretching impossibly wide before me.

If I close my eyes and pretend with all of my might that I am someone else, could I revel in the sounds of laughter, of water splashing, waves breaking, and gulls calling? Could my bare feet love the touch of sand? Could my heart sing if I swam out to dive into the deep of the lake, to feel my body cool and weightless?

At least you left me the sun, Renny; the sun still does shine, godlike in the firmament, and I can still love the warmth on my face.

 

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