The last night of the last summer we piled into a car and drove down to the beach, singing along to Springsteen songs, laughing at our knees pressed so close together in the backseat. The world was looming over us but tonight it was small enough to swallow. We rolled the windows down as we drove by the boardwalk carnival, the bright purple green blue lights pouring into our smiles, the blaring music and people’s voices pouring into our veins. We sent our own voices and music back out in answer and laughed as the lights faded behind us, as we drove into the starry dark towards the dunes, as we drove away for one more night, away from tired eyes and heavy sighs, painful cupboard secrets and childhood drawings on the fridge, with memories and bottles and firewood rattling in the trunk. We sank our feet into the sand and built the fire up high so the night could never come close enough to strangle us. Arm in arm in arm in arm in arm we watched the distant carnival lights go out one by one till we were the only ones left in the dark, with the waves lapping and the stars shining and the fire burning and our hearts burning and we were alive and we were so free. We danced and sang and laughed and drank and forgot about who we had to be tomorrow, the packed cars and booked flights and inevitable goodbyes. The drinks and the fire burned in our veins and the endless stars burned in our smiles and the sand was soft beneath our bare feet and life was good and we would miss each other so, but not yet, not yet. The stars moved, our feet grew tired, the fire in our hearts died down. Too drunk and too happy to drive back home to our looming futures we made our beds in the sand beneath the fields of brilliant stars, talking for hours, our eyes never closing, already feeling homesick, already missing each other, even with our hands right there within reach. Already feeling time slipping through our fingers. Already struggling to stay. Desperate to stay. So we took pieces of ourselves and buried them in the sand, a lock of hair, a small dream, a shard of broken heart, tears never to be shed, a life never allowed to live, promising each other that even after the songs had finished, even after the sun had come up, even after we were long gone and had moved on to schools and jobs and a dream overseas and a fear come true and the same old same old, even after we barely remembered the drawings on the fridge and each others’ names, we’d still be here. A part of us always beside the fire burning so high it reaches the stars, beside the waves lapping endlessly at the shoreline, still singing and dancing and laughing and living and leaving and staying and and and
till one day the sea will wash it all away.
Thank you for reading!
This piece is inspired by my favorite song Blue Jeans and White T-Shirts by The Gaslight Anthem. Actually a lot of their music/lyrics inspires my writing. I love the imagery of their songs, the carnival lights, the beach, driving a car with the radio on. That sense of melancholy nostalgia. This particular piece though was inspired by this song and some of my own experiences of friend groups breaking up because life leads them to different places. But there’s a lot of just made up stuff in there, too, and emotions from YA novels that I love. That feeling of wanting to hold on to now but also wanting to be away, but still being afraid of the future. I also think it’s going to be part of a flash novella, together with a piece I posted earlier, Mae. That will be out someday! Hopefully.
This story was originally published by Capsule Stories.
If you enjoyed my story, please like, comment, share and/or follow for new updates, or read some more!