Two weekends in a row, the ocean churned. I compared pictures and could have taken them all on the same day. Only for this one, I'm standing at a beach, with towering piles of dirty snow melting behind me, imagining striped umbrellas, lifeguards swinging their whistles, and the flurry of kids gripping bills while they run to the parking lot as the ice cream truck pulls up. Somewhere a radio chirps. Teenage boys paddle a ball back and forth across the hard-packed sand. Women wearing oxford cloth shirts over their bathing suits walk with eyes cast down and squat to pick up sea glass. In this vignette, the sun is hot on my shoulders. I'm sitting in the same striped beach chair I've used for thirty years. There's a novel in my lap, but it's closed as I watch a wave chase a flock of terns and they skitter-step up from from the edge.
It's forty degrees and raining here right now. We are almost there. Right? Right?