October 9, 2012
The First Cut is the Deepest
From time to time, my mind takes me back to the glorious summer of 1964. Sometimes, it is easy for me to remember, and other times it is nearly impossible, but as I sit in this almost empty diner, my memory has never been more vivid, and it is almost as if I can feel the golden Florida sand in between my toes. I stare down into my cup of coffee, untouched, and try to remember every detail of that summer before it all fades away like it does so often. My memories are ticking time bombs, waiting to detonate and turn into tiny shards, impossible to piece back together. I reach into the crevices of my mind, into the deep corners that have sat undisturbed for so many years. Instantly, I am seventeen again. My mind turns my coarse, snow white hair into long, careless, jet-black curls that hang well below my rib cage. Time reverses my deep laugh lines as it rejuvenates my skin. I can see myself now with my long legs, tanned golden by the sun, perfectly polished nails, high cheekbones, and sparkling green eyes. I’m wearing the first two-piece bathing suit I had ever owned, light pink with tiny, precise ruffles around the edges. I distinctly remember saving every penny I could find to afford that silly old thing, doing chore after chore around my house, trying to scrounge up enough money before summer rolled around. That trip to Pensacola Beach was all me and my three girl friends could talk about during our senior year. We would jokingly call it our first taste of freedom as we complained endlessly day after day about nagging parents or seemingly never-ending schoolwork. Fresh out of high school, we walked arm in arm along the shoreline, throwing our heads back in laughter without any cares in the world. It amuses me how their names have escaped me after all these years, yet his has not. I usually cannot remember what year it is, or, worst of all, where I am, but I could tell...