Megalomaniac on the Dunes

Written by Life

Posted from: Charleston, South Carolina

South Carolina, staring off toward Europe: The last time I went to the beach, it was in California with a boy so delicate he balked at the sandcrabs.

I’m by myself here now. I follwed the map Page lent me to a boardwalk (see: walk made of boards) that rolled over baby dunes, and swallowed on both sides, but not ceilinged, with a plant I couldn’t name. It went up over sand and and down over still puddles of salt water risen out of the ground. And then it opened, and I knew the sky had never been so wide.

The universe, after all, is always expanding.

People greet each other here. It makes me feel guilty about the Bukowski book in my bag.

I used to see all this, all North American scenery, content to be leaving it. Signs and suburbia, nothing. And now I can’t think of a reason to go back to Beijing, except that all my socks are there.

I am just like everyone else.

We megalomaniacs have to take this as a mantra.

I am just like everyone else. Some day, when I’m 40 or thereabouts, I’ll stop craving travel and uncertain euphoria. I won’t prefer khakis to jeans, I just won’t care one way or the other, just like everyone else. I’ll live for jogs on the beach. I know this will happen to me, because I can’t see anything wrong with that anymore.

South Carolina is just as I imagined it. I looked up and saw my first V of birds. I suspected as much.

And I went inside my first church, I think. I have musty recollections of my great aunt’s funeral, but I was too young to remember anythying except thinking that old people look ugly crying, and my mother claiming to have communicated with her after death. I believed.

I went to Christmas mass with Kyle’s family. Catholics. They sing in church, which isn’t news, but Psalm 89 made me get the whole religion thing. It’s sad and beautiful and you get to participate. Which is like life, essentially, except in life you have to look harder to see all that.

And here I was, thinking it was all a buch of twaddle. How ignorant I am.

I am just like everyone else.

On the verge of rising to leave, I realize it may be years before my next ocean, and I stay a little longer.