The hurricane passed, taking with it every cloud in the sky.
The water was cool and calm.
Bridget and I bobbed in the waves.
She bent her knees slightly, allowing her shoulders to move back and forth as the waves passed.
I rested an arm around her shoulder, and lifted my legs.
I floated as we embraced.
We talked quietly, enjoying the sun, the waves and one another’s company.
I released her shoulder, leaning back. I floated free, allowing the current to carry me off.
I smiled back at Bridget, and glanced at the people and umbrellas on the beach.
I turned the other way, facing out to sea.
I closed my eyes.
I was thinking of Shelby.
We had not seen each other in weeks.
During the spring, we looked ahead to summer—Shelby’s favorite season—anticipating that we would see more of each other.
But fate intervened in the form of Shelby’s new job. She was locked up on weekdays, and my weekends were booked for over a month.
We resigned ourselves to the fact that we would be apart for a while.
Before she started her job, she spent several days with me at the end of June. We settled into a very relaxed groove, mixing sex with down time.
We traveled around the city, taking in the Mermaid Parade in Coney Island, and the Gay Pride Parade on Fifth Avenue.
I see the familiar fresh through her eyes.
We were ebullient at the beginning of the week, growing quieter as we faced what would be, for a while, our final hours together.
Now we were making do with emails, instant messages and memories.
I missed her, bad. I missed our loving friendship.
I used to think it inevitable that Shelby would eventually tire of having an older lover so far away, and find someone closer to her in age and geography.
I don’t think that anymore. I mean, that may in fact happen, but we are just too solid now to let that be the end of us.
Now, I envision her explaining to a future spouse the nature of our “special” friendship.
It just endures. It just is.
The current carried me a bit further than I intended. I turned and kicked a few yards.
Back to Bridget’s shoulder.