the ocean / the boy and I / cupcakes and twenty-three candles / drinking wine on the beach
twenty-third birthday. I recollected all the previous ones; seventh birthday celebrations remain the most favorite one until now. twenty-third comes close second. then there was the twenty-first, the inaugural year of truly no longer being a child. or that’s what they kept telling me and I kept proving them wrong. although, that year made me grow up. I was jerked out of any illusions I might have had at that time. no slow transitions, or getting used to anything. it was like a slap in the face. bitch, you got to deal with your own life now. on your own. it’s gotten easier since then. but because of the quiet lasting since december, I did not expect him to say anything, but he did. of course, he did. happy birthday x. quick inhale, sharp exhale.
on tuesday we ventured out to our favorite beach in hong kong; the lower cheung sha beach. a few hours before the sundown, we took the train across the city all the way to sunny bay and beyond. then a bus. we missed our stop because the sofa on the side of the road used to be my reference and it is no longer there. we ended up in a nearby village, with no taxis or english speaking anyone. only cows and the smell of shit. but it didn’t matter. we found our way back and quickly settled into chairs of the only opened restaurant on the beach. south african cuisine infused with the mediterranean. my heart is happy every time we eat there. a hug jug of sangria, which I drank by myself. we walked through the sand, listening to and watching the ocean. he said to me, I love the effect that the water has on you. you become calmer, quieter. the boy doesn’t love the ocean the way I do. he doesn’t trust it, the vastness intimidates him. to me, it’s the ocean is the most peaceful and beautiful thing I know.
we took sappy selfies together and drew hearts and messages in the sand. dated and marked carefully, I wanted to remember it all. barbecued chicken with grandma’s potatoes, beef stew with rice, spring salad, feta cheese, olives, red wine and beer. we finished with four cupcakes and twenty-three candles. one by one, he patiently lit them up for me. then he stood up, make a wish baby girl. long after the restaurant closed, we sat there in complete darkness, with nothing but the waves to keep us company. only our stories and laughter could have been heard, if there was anyone around. but we were completely alone. we were alone, with our hearts full.