Ocean headlights

I remember eight years ago.

Sitting in the sand, watching the tide roll in. And out.

The relentless tide trying to kiss the sand.

The shore sent it back out to sea, over and over again.

Dismissal. Apathy. Cold.

I was just as cold that night on Carolina Beach. I was numb.

Numb from the wind. Numb from the beer. Numb from everything.

All I really wanted to be was numb. I wanted to be alone.

 

But eight years later, here I am – standing in my driveway

Hoping she will come back so we can be alone together.

 

Yes, eight years ago, I wanted to graduate, buy a boat and drift

Down the coastline to see a life I didn’t want to live.

I’d write about these people – these families – who ate

Frozen custard and hot dogs. I didn’t want to be them.

I wanted to be alone. A memory to those I knew.

Dismissal. Apathy. Cold.

There was too much going on in the world not to write

About it, but there wasn’t enough going on that I found

Inviting.

 

But I stand here tonight on the driveway. Missing her.

Wanting her. Needing her. Feeling so warm.

 

First it was my daughter who came into my life

When I didn’t expect it. She brought life to my years –

Made me want to be a better man. For she needed

Me to be more than a guy in a mountain cabin

Or a sunburned whiskey sipper on a boat. She needed

Me to teach her to love. She needed me to show her more than

Dismissal. Apathy. Cold.

She needed me to show her how to live for the sake

Of living; I was the one assigned to making her

Dreams come true.

 

I am happy here on this driveway tonight. I want her.

I need her. Donne was correct when he said no man is an island.  

 

Eight years since one drunken night on Carolina Beach,

Watching the tide roll in, get tossed back and roll in again,

I see why the water is so persistent in its mysteriousness.

Beneath its foamy tops and gentle, rhythmic tongue is something

Much bigger, more powerful, captivating and alluring than

Dismissal. Apathy. Cold.

The ocean has a spirit that finds love worth any wait.

The ocean has a spirit that makes a man stand in his driveway,

Waiting for headlights.

 

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