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Dolphins (standard:non fiction, 1336 words)
Author: DaveAdded: Jul 15 2006Views/Reads: 1563/906Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
The first story I wrote and ever published on my website. This is a reflection on a childhood memory and its connection to a relationship that was new at the time.
 



My parents divorced when I was seven. I didn't understand why back then;
I just knew that I wanted them to be happy together. I knew them both, 
and loved them both, and didn't want to have just one. They separated 
anyway, and the custody agreement allowed my father only two weekends 
per month with my brother Sean and me. Somehow, and I don't really know 
when it happened, this became every weekend, or at least the weekends 
when Dad was in town. He travels a lot on business. 

What I remember most about those weekends was going to the beach, and my
father saying things like, "Do you guys want to stop for some cold 
drinks?" Eventually, my brother picked up on this "cold drinks" idea, 
and pointed it out to me. No one else I know ever refers to sodas as 
"cold drinks," but somehow my dad made it a wonderful part of his 
weekend vocabulary. I waited for weekends for the trip to the beach and 
our stop along the way for our "cold drinks." 

Anyone outside our family would've thought that we went to see the same
darn lighthouse every weekend, but that was just how we referred to our 
traditional beach destination. I wonder how many people asked what I 
did with my weekends, only to hear that I went, yet again, to that 
lighthouse. There really was an old lighthouse there, but we never 
really even paid any attention to it, except for passing it on the way 
to the bathrooms (which was almost never). There were only two times 
I'd actually go to the bathrooms instead of the ocean. One was if my 
hands were so wrinkled that I dare not spend even another moment in the 
water. The other was when we were drying off to leave, and I had almost 
dried, and didn't want to get wet again. 

I wish I could just have stayed in the water forever...it was always
amazing. Some people feel small next to the ocean, but I could never 
wait to get in. Despite the sting rays, the occasional jellyfish, and 
the clusters of mangrove seeds floating by, I loved being in the water. 


I don't really remember yelling "Shark," but my brother can attest to it
with certainty. We hauled butt out of the water and turned to face, not 
sharks, but a pair of dolphins. We had fled from dolphins and scared 
veryone on the beach! I didn't care, though. I got to see them from a 
distance. They swam by us carelessly, now that the people had gotten 
out of their way. They were beautiful and seemed so happy together. One 
would swim a little ahead, slow to wait for it's companion, and then 
the other dolphin would take the lead. They weren't ever parallel for 
any length of time, but they were definitely together. I watched them 
until they were too far away for me to see, and I thought about what my 
elementary school friends would look like when we were all a hundred 
years old. I wondered what my future soul-mate might look like, and I 
wished that those dolphins would be together forever, as happy as they 
seemed that day. 

Over the years, we gradually stopped going to the lighthouse. When I
began middle school, band really took hold of my life.  I could express 
my deepest concerns in only one way. My French Horn always seemed to 
know how to speak those feelings. I was fortunate that no one else 
could understand my horn, especially the popular kids, who weren't in 
band. I knew that my horn would not betray me, and my music became an 
integral part of my life during those troubling, hormonal years of 
middle school. 

*** 

I sat in a lawn chair in front of a tiny candle, which was supposed to
keep the mosquitoes away. I had my doubts. In fact I was full of doubt. 
I had never shared any of my deepest thoughts and personal information 
with anyone in my life, even up through part of college. If Nervous and 
anxious, I felt my bladder filling up, and wished to be in the ocean, 
where I could simply let it go right there.  Here I was, though, in 
front of this candle. I was in the middle of the woods, surrounded by 
my fraternity, and actually contemplating telling them all about 
myself.  I would have to be eloquent and gentle. I was in the middle of 
the woods! Several of the brothers had gone before me, telling us about 
the roughest, most defining moments in their lives. Some of the things 
I heard were awful, and it made me feel normal. I really don't remember 
how I said it, but apparently I wasn't convincing enough. They sat 
there in silence, looking around at each other, trying to figure out if 
I was joking or not. This was not part of the plan. I expected an 


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