In the winter of 2013, I alone travelled to the sunny and still-warm Caribbean Sea on the southern side of the earth, to welcome Christmas and a happy New Year. I- hoped the blue or the green of the sea water, or the white of the wave, or the yellow of the sands from the other side of the sea would be able to fulfill the fading colour of my youth? While surfing, I met an English guy between a wave - I was lying on my surfboard, and he was sitting on his. As the wave hit, he was washed into the sea. The English guy was staying in a seaside villa with three girls and another guy. They all came from London. The guy invited me, who was staying in the hostel, to join them. Only he knew how to surf- another surfer changed his mind in the last minute, only his yellow surfboard and despondent girlfriend came. For that one month I did nothing but swimming and surfing. But sometimes, I sat by myself on the balcony of the second floor, to read, drown myself in alcohol, and stare across to the other side of the sea until I forgot whether it was day or night. That ownerless bleak yellow surfboard was placed in the shadow at the corner of the balcony. Only as the canary-yellow sunset that wandered across the cape has dyed the canvas of the sky and sea pink while I was not paying attention, would the surfboard become golden, and it met my eyes when I turned my head. With my eyes shimmering with gold and full of thoughts, I had no way to tell its real colour.

Sometimes, the sky above was aqua blue. As if it lacked enough paint, the sky dyed its blue into the salt water, gradually fading into white where it met the sea – layers the sea – the deep-blue in distance – Indigo – turquoise – dark – green – green mixed sands – a white wave broke on the reef rock that’s less than 5 meters wide under the balcony; coconut trees and sandy beach on my left, and right-hand sides grew all the way to the other end of the promontory. The shadow of mine, stretched by the setting sun, was imprinted on the white beach. The light and alcohol numbed me, slowly, continuously, as if it was a dream- just like the warm sun of the winter, the pain was there quietly. Between the lights, I seemed to be able to see the silhouette of her back, she’s about to turn – and I awoke, and I knew that it was impossible to see her again.

Beautiful things make me sad. In the summer of 2009 she grabbed a handful of sand on the beach, and what ran and fleeted between her fingers were my incomplete heart, that cannot be saved. In my endless dreams sculptured by sand, only she could take shape.

After all these years, how many times I dreamed of her, how many times have I failed to see her. She never turn. Perhaps even in dream, I am not brave enough to lose her again.

 

 

 

written on a balcony at the beach of Rincón, 2013

(original Chinese version published on LIBERTY TIMES, 2019)

 

Nero Huang

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