Through the years my spring birthday has always signaled the start of something, coupled with the end of what had encompassed much of my recent life. Before, it was the end of a school semester and its overwhelming exam schedule. Its funny to imagine that everyone around me has hit a new high because of my anniversary but really we all know its because of the sun's timely wake.
This year's April birthday rolled in and I was looking forward to some time to soak and also to let time just slow down a little bit. Everyone that called to lend well wishes all seemed surprised to hear that all the different groups of people they thought were converging on my city, didn't in the end. They decided not to come because they figured the others were already well on their way and the more people that rang the more I realized everyone cancelled each other out in their worry of overcrowding. They felt sad to have missed a few days in Montreal but I let them know it was no worry and their voice across the line was all that was needed.
My girlfriend and I spent the day together and packed a basket to catch the afternoon and the failing light of my favorite hill at Parc LaFontaine. The sun set across the pond and so did we back at my apartment with the windows open listening half-awake to the nearby people walking with bottles of wine in their hands at the front door to their restaurant, half-dreaming of our summer nights to come.
We were in our own cities the night before I left for Trinidad and when she had already been back for three days from her beach escape. White sand has become part of her blood and I would search for mine at Maracas and if it wasn't found, the card she put up on her wall seasons ago with two sets of legs hanging out of a beached row boat would transport us from our separate trips to that unknown island which adorned its cover.
I caught glimpses of her while walking at Maracas, her smile standing in the water. Her ghost and her saltwater hands haunted and loved me through the day as the rains pushed by the hugging mountains quickly came and went. I fell for the beach and during the orange sun-washed ascent past cliffs that belong at the edge of the world, I told you of my love affair with the waves.
I made my Beach Baby a playlist for her walks to the man-made desert island she tells me is across the shallow cove. The Bon Iver song that shared her name turned the corner towards the evening and the blind sounds of the sea crashing into the sand. She bought me Sleep Well and the walking escalator took me across the airport terminal to its first sounds on the flight towards the south and also the last when I caught it's return. I slipped in and out of ghostly dreams until my seat mate nudged my arm and asked me to help her spot Niagara Falls out the window. We flew right on top of it and carried on past the wine field region where I spent most of my life to the far side of Lake Ontario and the late evening landing that the pilot stretched the city for.
I raced back and gave her warning that I would be at her door with genuine eyes and I planned how I would tell her that I loved her. I never did and weeks later, I forced her ghost away. I collapsed at my door and cried for her when we said our goodbyes and now 'Ether' haunts me to death on the summer evening's of his choice.