Monday, May 18, 2009

An Anniversary by the Sea

Aloria and Morty Clark live in a small red brick bungalow at 20 Glenn Close in Cloverdale. Today is their 48th wedding anniversary. They’ll spend it on the beach near Tamworth on the Tide, just like they’ve done for the last 32 years. Aloria Clark enjoys the view. The sea reminds her of happy times when she was a girl. Her family spent many long afternoons in the sun and sand. The smell and sound of the sea conjures the voices of her parents from the quiet of memory. The voices are soft. She closes her eyes and listens closely, almost afraid she has forgotten their sound. It grows cold. She pulls her coat tight around her.

Morty Clark looks across the sand and sees wave after wave of soldiers struggling to gain a foothold on the beach. Memory brings the sound of bullets streaking through the air. The shouts of the wounded follow. The sight of the sea and sand merging at land’s end triggers the memories of that day from long ago. They are etched onto memory like hieroglyphics on rock. He is a living memorial to the friends lost that day.

Seconds turn into minutes. Time passes. The sun and horizon creep closer together. Without a spoken word, the couple turns from the sea and walk to the waiting car. The drive is quiet except for the sound of the car’s fan. Aloria reads. Morty drives.

Their favorite table at The Sea Shack was reserved six month’s ago. They walk through the restaurant and onto the balcony overlooking the sea. Nearby cliffs rise out of the water like black monoliths. The moon casts a shimmering path across the ocean.
They share a few thoughts but find the atmosphere provides better company. The waiter brings their food. Candles provide enough light to see their hands together at the center of the small table. He thinks it marvelous to see a couple together after so many years.

Alora watches the other couples at the tables. Morty watches the sea and moon. Each lost in their own thoughts. Alora stands first. It is time to go home.

Tomorrow they start their 49th year together. They fall asleep side by side, content in knowing the other will be there when they wake in the morning.

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