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Summer to Infinity

by Bianca Martinez
(Chattanooga, TN)

152. How do the sights of the summer beach change when the lights go down and nearly everybody goes home? Imagine that you're walking the beach on the night of a full moon. What do you see and how does it make you feel? Would you rather go to the beach during the day or the night and why?

I was only 15 the last time I went to the beach with my family. Summer vacation was just another way to make the months feel even longer than they were. All of us, my father, sisters, brothers and stepmother circling each other in the massive beach house. I loved my family but black sheep doesn't even begin to describe my relationship with them. Sadly not long after that vacation I would find myself forced out of the house by my stepmother with no choice but to drop out of school and find a full time job. At the time I hadn't the slightest clue what the next year would bring. I was young, child-like and impressionable. The darkness that came along with my early teen years was accompanied by a deep love with of night-time. After everyone else fell asleep, I would leave the safety of the beach house under the midnight moon and walk barefoot down to the beach. I can still remember what it felt like to look up at the sky and watch the summer stars shine and twinkle. I knew in those moments that anything was possible. The world stood still for me those nights on the beach. Sitting next to the pier. I would watch lovers, drunks, vacationers and locals wander by. The ability to be invisible for a while made me feel powerful. Knowing that I could see them and sensing their inability to see me. My role in the world was still so unclear and I spent many a night laying in the cool colorless sand wondering who I would be one day. Looking back on it now I wish that I could have warned myself of the rude awakening that the end of summer would offer. But still I remain forever grateful that the end of summer was so far away because in those moments I felt infinite.

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