sand floors

girl (woman) told a story about being detained behind bars for three days unable to join us from the start. the restaurant was open but closed, I mean the walls, they were missing in some parts, the ocean was steps away, and the floors were filled with sand. i’d taken off my shoes and was playing beneath the table with my feet as she spoke. nearby the cellist played a soft lullaby and the waiters danced around pouring endless glasses of wine and serving so many pre-dinner dishes i was sure no one could possibly have room for dinner by the time it arrived, let alone dessert. just as my mind wandered off at the prospect of us dancing in the sand later that evening she brought me back with the emotion in her voice.

she compared her three days to a man she’d met that had been detained for 25 months. 25 months! Murmuring around the tables commenced as people found it hard to believe. But she shared his story as told to her in the same detention center, and it led her to do whatever she could to get him released. he wasn’t a criminal. he’d just been forgotten in the hailstorm of pandemic, restricted borders, political lines, and countries that decided he didn’t quite belong anywhere. but her perseverance led her to a retired official who joined in her efforts to support the man’s release.

she’d missed the first four days of the gathering but made it for dinner to share this story and remind us of many things we already know. we hope our endeavors will lead us to one place but kind of know we’ll instead end up in places and with people unplanned and often those places weren’t created for us but for those people we stumbled upon. we went so much deeper into this i can’t even write about it now. i just want to memorialize that he will be released this month and not because she planned to be involved but because the plan was to involve her.

i’m unsure what day or time it is or even where i am. my body hasn’t worked this hard since high school so now i’m winding down and feel like mush. floaty. unstable. unsure whether to stand still and raise my arms for a hug or run forward for a kiss. words are stealth and embarrassed at their inability to express passions raw language. i come here instead to erase every line drawn in the sand and invite you to join me in the wonder of release.

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