The Last Time I Saw the Ocean And Then I Never Went Back to Work Again.
I remember the last time I saw the ocean, it was the first week in February of this year in Naples, Florida. My husband's family was involved in a complicated legal battle with a large bank, the details of which I was not then and am not now familiar, nor interested. Work had been extra shitty, I had a new boss who was becoming increasingly passive-agressively hostile toward me, which is my least favorite quality in a boss (though one I've for whatever reason encountered numerous times). I decided that I would take family leave under FMLA and stay the week with my husband and his family at the beach condo while the trial was going on so as to have a chance to get away from Chicago, and mostly from work, and clear my head a bit.
I remember arriving at the condo around 11pm, the air had that super "dewey sweet"quality you always hear people reference but (at least where I come from) never experience aside from maybe one time at camp when you were a kid (though that memory may well be fabricated, I don't really know) or possibly a couple times during college after partying way too hard and walking home as the sun rises (though in those memories that smell brought on dread, self loathing, and nausea, so that's probably not relevant I guess). But the air was dewey sweet, and in a good way, like in a way where you still have a night to sleep and and a day of sun and ocean and relaxing ahead, so it's all good. That's how it smelled.
It was dark out I didn't care, I could hear the ocean and I could see the ocean and I could see the sand and I wanted to sit in all of it, so I ran through the house, flipping my shoes off and shedding my winter coat on the way, out the back door and onto the beach.
It was calm. It was rhythmic. It was quiet. And it was big. I shed my socks (which I never found) and rolled up my pants and went in, it was warm. The gulf water is always warm, around this time it was about 72 degrees. I stood there for a while. I looked at the moon. I thought about my dad. I tried not to think about work but flashes of intermittent worry crept in every now and again - I tried my best to dismiss them, and breathe.
Breathe. Breathe. Breathe. OH HOLY SHIT WHEN MARIE SAID THAT SHE DIDN'T CARE IF I TOOK THIS WEEK OF IS THAT BECAUSE SHE KNOWS SHE'S GOING TO FIRE ME WHEN I GET BACK ANYWAY? Breathe. Breathe. Breathe. Dad. Wonder how the Maya Angelou doc is coming. I love Dad. Dad'd tell me that work isn't worth stressing over, everything is as it should be, and we must except that. Except that, and breathe. Breathe. Breathe. ...But not that quickly. No, not that quickly, it's fine. OH SHIT NO IT'S NOT I TOTALLY FORGOT TO ATTACH A THIRD EXAMPLE IMAGE TO THAT DOCUMENT GOD DAMNIT THERE'S ONLY TWO TWO ISN'T ENOUGH THERE NEEDED TO BE THREE MOTHERFUCKING GOD DAMNIT I'M SUCH AN IDIOT. ...Breathe. Breathe. Breathe.
It's nice out here.