august contemplations

romanticising some of the simplest moments from this summer – part 2

Camille has a dog that cries when I leave. Where she lives there is peace and no men to whistle at me when I walk down the street. I like it here. I feel my imagination coming back again, I want to create stories with girls going on quests in enchanted forests.

I meet people on the beach and we play games lazily. The girls are drunk on fancy cocktails while I sip a warm beer kept in Billy’s backpack. Shimmering from afar, the sun slowly sinks in the sea. I forget life exists outside of summer, idleness and dreams. I like my in-betweens, lost in transitions stories. The lilies bent over the backyard and the night that never comes.

We wake up after the storm wafted up the wood house. My friend’s sculpture got slotted open. The look of it is barbaric. We have to squint in the sunlight to open our eyes. I scribble stories in my notebook with shattered glass at my feet. The staleness is here by 10 am. It’s 39 degrees today so I guess I’ll postpone my big plans. Instead, I read Normal People on the train back home and compare Connell and Marianne’s relationship to every romantic story I have ever experienced.

Here, on this island, everything is salt, and sweat, and lust, and ancient castles and deep turquoise waters, coffee in porcelain cups and a marble floor on which I create trails of sands with my dirty shoes. My red skirt brushes my tanned legs. I get used to this abundance, growing and moving in it as if it belongs to me already, as if I am this marble floor, these morning views, these expensive coffee machines, these Italian showers, late-night walks, Channel n°5 and cocktails before dinner. I manifested this ideal of myself years ago and now I get to be her. 

I sit on the rocks and stare at Ross swimming towards the shores of Valetta. I realise that most of what I am has been built in summer stories, on islands and beaches and under 35 degrees. Only for a moment, there’s only the sea, vast and unchanging. My lungs fill up with the iodine air and doors flush open. Everything unspools in my veins, my anxious thoughts drifting away and replaced by a profound, conscious feeling of this moment I am given. There, in the pit of my belly, I still exist.

Image courtesy of Zoltan Tasi

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