My friend had a house near the beach in South L.A. Sometimes late at night she'd climb up to her roof and pretend that nothing else in the world existed except the stars and the sound of surf. Once she took me with her to share the sounds of the ocean and watch the play of night. We just laid there for awhile and tried to feel the world spin, enjoying the ride our planet provides as it moves through the void of space. We were still as contemplation, traveling through the unknowable night.
The air was thick, easy to breathe, so close to the ocean, so fresh. You listen to the muted boom of the surf, like the heartbeat of Earth, and then the hiss of water sliding over sand, you listen and respond. Your heart beats in time with the surf, and you hear your blood moving through your body, you feel yourself floating like driftwood being pushed by the dark warm sea.
Your thoughts become clouds traveling an uncharted night sky, illuminated by the moon and starlight, beautiful but impersonal. You are drifting away and time has stopped. I never lived such a sacred night.
After a time someone moved and we both sat up. I looked out to the ocean, and then I turned and faced my friend. She was beautiful, filled with the event of night. She looked at me and smiled. I said nothing, there was nothing to say. We stood and crossed the roof to the ladder. Down we went, back to the world of things, and worry, and thoughts. She walked me to my car. I kissed her, she kissed me back.
"Drive safe," she said.
"Don't worry," I said.
Two weeks later I find she died. Not suicide, it's determined, no one knows why.
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