WEDNESDAY: Baptism

BY GAYLE ETHERINGTON

Copyright is held by the author.

I SHOULD call Mel.

How long has it been?

Days blend with my heartbeats the only true measure of time.

Funny that I don’t give a fuck how I look as I walk among strangers, shoeless, my hair and skin at liberty to sun and surf.

My breasts sway under the cheap cotton dress, its flimsy texture ghostlike as it swells and folds like the beach umbrellas dotting the landscape.

I look down at my toes as they sink from my weight under the sand. I have never felt lighter. My feet eventually disappear fully as the water reaches my ankles and I struggle to stand straight. I panic wondering if I am stuck but the tide retreats, and I pull myself out, one foot at a time.

I open my palms toward the sky. They are sticky from ice cream and sand caught in the creases. I turn them over and stretch my bare fingers as wide as possible.

I dip my hands into the cool water to cleanse them and remind myself to call Mel.

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