Story for Cesar's Photo: 2

“She was a good woman, Tom.”
“She was. She sure was. People say that, don’t they?”
“What, the phrase, or they say that about Doreen?”
“The phrase I guess. I mean… yeah. The phrase.”
“Yes, people say that phrase. But it is definitely true about Doreen.”
“Yeah, I know. She loved it here, you know.”
“I know.”
“And the sky today. She would have loved it today. She would have said something like, ‘I just want to disappear completely into that sky.’ I can hear her saying it. She’d say she wanted to disappear into that sky and then we would go down on the beach and she would take off her shoes and let out the same sigh she did every time she took her shoes off at the beach. That same sigh every time. One day, I must have been tired or something, she let out that fucking sigh and I just couldn’t take it. I mean, every fucking time, every time, that fucking sigh. I guess I kind of lost it. ‘Goddammit, Doreen,’ I said. ‘Do you have to sigh like that every fucking time?’ She just looked at me for a second. It’s hard to describe the expression on her face. Her lips a bit pursed, her calm, large brown eyes. She just looked at me. Then she bent over to pick up her shoes. ‘I mean, baby,’ I said. ‘It’s just every time we come to the beach and you take off your shoes… and I mean, you always fucking sigh like that.’ She straightened up with her shoes in her hand. ‘I’m sorry, dear,’ she said as she brushed past me and walked down the beach. The weird thing is, she didn’t come across as brusque and angry when she said she was sorry. I mean, she seemed actually sorry. She seemed like she was actually apologizing for the way she expressed one of the small joys in her life. Like maybe she knew how fucking typical it was, how ordinary, how everyday. It’s like you’re supposed to sigh like that when you take off your shoes and feel the sand between your toes. And she felt bad that she expressed the joy of that the same way anyone would, a sigh, a breath, contentment that these pleasures exist in the world. She didn’t stop doing it though. Last month when we came down here, and she was weak, Bill, I mean it took her a long time to slip off her shoes. But even then, the same sigh and it still felt like she was sorry about it. The same fucking sigh…”
“She was a good woman, Tom.”
“She was. She really, really was.”

 Photo by Cesar Melo

Photo by Cesar Melo