My girlfriend came from the ocean. I was living in a house by the shore and I walked along the beach every night at sunset, usually alone, singing to myself. When the sun set I'd find a rock or some driftwood and sit there for what must have been hours. Sometimes I'd make a fire, but mostly I just sat and listened to the waves.

I thought maybe I was drifting off when I saw her, because there was never anyone else out here. She came up, all pearly white and dripping seawater. She said she liked my singing. I didn't ask questions. My life isn't the sort where I get to question the things that happen. We talked for a while. It was one of those conversations where it felt like I'd known her for years and years, and on some level that I didn't really understand, I think maybe I had.

She said she would stay with me so long as I'd walk with her on the beach every night and I'd always sing just like I always did. And at night we'd go swimming in the cold water, and it was perfect for a while, and then without warning it hadn't been perfect for a long while, and I never understood when that happened. I wanted to do something besides walk the white sands at night. I wanted to do something besides swim. She just said I'd promised, and it was true. But I was often late about getting home, and some nights I very nearly didn't get home at all.

One night, one of those nights where there are no choices, a friend was in town and she invited me to her hotel room and we had lots of little drinks, and I kept saying I had to go home, I had to go home, but she didn't seem to understand. "You are home," she said. She poured another drink. She kissed me, and I understood then that I had a choice, somewhere before I even knew she would be in town, and I didn't make it then.

I kissed her back. We had more drinks, and then I was in no position to walk back home. I tried to call my girlfriend but she took the phone from me and tossed it on the floor in the corner of the room. She kept saying how good it was to see me, and I kept trying to explain that I needed to go home.

I stumbled home after she passed out, and ran out to the beach, calling my girlfriend's name. I tripped over the driftwood and fell to my knees and lay still for a long while. She'd gone back to the water, and I never had a choice in the matter.


Ayn Rand said...

This kinda reminds me of a certain kind of fairy tale. One I can remember right now is about a woman who marries a dude, but he turns into a monstrous bear or something every day, but sheds his bear pelt and reveals himself to be a total awesome stud for the duration of the night. He also tells her, ok, so don't touch my pelt when I take it off, and I'll be an awesome husband for you and everything will be a-ok. So she says ok, and she kinda agrees that he's a real awesome husband to her and everything.

But then she thinks, hey, wouldn't it be great if he was also awesome 24 hours, and not just half the time? So she gets the idea (from a witch or a nasty old crone or something, I think) to secretly take his pelt and throw it in the fireplace.

So when she does it, the outcome varies wildly between retellings, but the common point is shit hits the fan bad. My personal favorite version is when he goes "OMG you stupid tart, the spell had a duration, it was supposed to run out a week later omg now I'll be bear monster forever I h8 u so much y must u ruin everythin". What happens next also varies, sometimes she has to go on this hellishly hard adventure to undo the now-permanent curse and They Live Happily Ever After, although I prefer the version where it just ends with "And this is why you always know your place and do what your man tells you, now get back in the kitchen and make me a sammich!"

I think there's a similar bit in the one about the frog who turns out to be a prince, but I went with the above because man I hated fucking frog. I mean I get it, yeah spell blah blah but did he honestly not have the option of turning down the sass a notch?

Fucking prick.

Rob said...

this one was more based on the Japanese crane wife version of that type of fairy tale. I've done that one before actually, but different.