Monday, July 25, 2011


On those hot nights when there just was nothing to do but be away from everyone and everything I'd walk in a slow drift down to the park at the water. There were no lights at all except for one in the parking lot just off the road and the glow of the 7-up machine by the padlocked restrooms and thick lines of trees blocked any infiltration from the lamps of the beach clubs that lay east and west. So in pure darkness I'd cross the enormous lawn, flowing down the hill, to the rock shore and strip off my clothes and being relatively careful of position as far as underwater rocks were concerned, would dive into the cold silence of Long Island Sound. If I needed dreams I'd swim to the abandoned fort and climb out and walk the ancient streets. If I needed hope I'd head for a little island with nothing but trees and warm myself in the glow of the stars. If I needed simply to be gone I'd crawl all the way to the lighthouse at Execution Rocks, cutting across the shipping channel with strokes at an absolutely consistent pace and breaths taken only at the point of absolute necessity. In that eternal salt water my thoughts would cease as I forced my body to fight for survival. And when I finally pulled myself up under the tower, the foghorn deafening, the strobe splitting the sky, I'd remember nothing but the swim itself.

© Ira David Socol 2006

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