Tuesday, July 24, 2012
Silence is Golden.
When I was 21, I had my first, big break-up. I was laying beside him in bed, and just thought, I'm not in love. It's easier to leave when you are young. And that's what I did.
Even though I wanted it to end, I was still heartbroken. I did what I always did when I felt bad in my early twenties in San Francisco - I jumped on my bike and rode it to Ocean Beach.
The ride to Ocean Beach from where I lived in lower Sunset was a gradual, uphill battle. By the time I got to my destination - the vintage arcade that rests on the cusp of the beach - I was out of breath, tired, and tear-stained. I hopped off of my bike and looked at the familiar entrance to the arcade. Laughing Sally was inside, and I needed her. 25 cents, and she would grab her belly and guffaw. She had been making me laugh since I was a child.
A few more tears dropped from my eyes. I looked up, and a funny-looking old lady stood before me. She was short, with crazy, curly white hair and the most amazing ice-blue eyes I had ever seen.
Don't cry honey.
I looked into her eyes, but didn't say a word.
I come here every day to visit my husband. We had such a life. He loved this place.
My brain was putting pieces of her life together. I was thinking things, but couldn't seem to muster a word. I couldn't avert my glance from those incredible eyes.
You don't know now, but this is nothing. It goes by fast, and there will be more. Don't be sad. There will be so much for you. You don't know now.
I come here every day to visit my husband. We had such a life. He loved this place. I have to go honey. Don't cry.
I watched her walk away. Suddenly, it was so loud. The sound of the ocean, the speeding of the cars along the Great Highway, the laughter of the children on the beach - it was as if someone had turned the volume button way up as she disappeared around the corner of the arcade. It was definitely on mute while she was speaking. There had been no sound as she stood in front of me, but her funny, happy, shaky little voice.
I followed her around the corner. There was nothing there but an amazing view of the ocean, and a low wall. My tears had disappeared and a smile stretched across my face. I don't know where she came from, or where she went, but for a moment in time - that silence was ours. We were in another world. It's easier to believe in magic when you are young. And that's what I did.
I brought my quarter into the arcade, dropped it into Sally, and laughed.