|Dolphins (standard:non fiction, 1336 words)|
|Author: Dave||Added: Jul 15 2006||Views/Reads: 1608/934||Story 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 Click here to read the rest of this story (51 more lines)
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