Mapping The Storm

Entry by: quietmandave

13th September 2017
You know this place, you know the tides. You know it so well that you can almost identify the day of the year from the height of the tide, from the high of the spring and autumn tides to the lows or the summer and winter tides. You know the shape, the pattern of the waves, depending on the precise direction of the wind, how the waves flow, break, how the white surf skims off the tops of the waves under certain wind conditions. You know that at high tide the movement of the swell flattens out as a sine wave, barely advancing or receding as it turns. For quite a while you can sit in a place and watch the sea almost touch your feet and know that it will come no higher. A little bit further up there is a dried bunch of flowers where a man died only a few weeks ago. He went in chasing his dog in a storm. The dog survived but the man, he was pulled out to sea by the current. The water flows as it it is a thicker liquid than it actually is. At times it seems to boil, and you would believe that it is boiling except that the cold spray is spitting on your face. You feel the coldness in your hair, on your cheeks, on your chin. The wind dries the salt to your lips, and you feel the tiny cracks as you grimace at the incoming wind. The sea rises and falls like a heartbeat, insistent, endless, pulsing. The wind picks up for a second and there is an arrhythmia in the beat, which temporarily stops. Then a wave crashes harder onto the stone below, and your hair is full of spots of salty water. You laugh, because, yes, this does sometimes happen. You look around to see whether anyone saw this, but the promenade is deserted. The wind picks up quickly, whipping up the waves. And yet you stay where you are, somehow believing that you are greater than the force of the sea. More and more spray marks your body and your clothes. You pull your coat up around you, but you know you can never get dry from the salty water. The waves lash over your head and you have to close your eyes to stop the stinging. You feel the water all around you. You feel the water enter your shoes. Your feet are damp, your socks are saturated. Little by little the water covers every space on your clothing. The wind is nearly unbearable now, and yet you sit there facing the storm, believing that somehow you can beat it.