Flash in the Pan
A Quarterly Posting at Tiny Lights
Le Pilier (the Pier)
by Julian Lindemuth
It's not like I want to be there—I have to be there—I need to be there. I quietly slide the door into its place and make my way down the terracotta stairway. The moon shines over the rooftops of the endless barren French street, beckoning to me as it hangs like a leaf's dew droplet clinging with vigor until it splashes onto the soil beneath. Yet this moon does not fall. It guides me though the endless maze of roads and alleyways and cars and people and commotion. Silence overpowers me. Simplicity dominates my soul. Beauty delicately kisses my cheek.
My body is pulled down by the force of the nautical sounds which flow from the ocean below, and I sit on the edge of the withered cracked cement pier. The sun sinks slowly, accentuating every ripple and wave the water withholds with a shimmering shade of fiery vermilion red. Beneath my feet and between every fold and flash of vivacious water, an endless mess of thousands of minuscule, banal fish, which, in distinct and spontaneous gyrations, swim as one and create a tremendous path of brilliance. This path leads out of the quiet bay and into the endless ocean, which fades away with the sun as the moon pervades through the evening sky.
Oh, the sky! How this endless space of graceful birds and colorful arrangements takes hold! There is no other option but to stare and wonder. To my right, an endless mass of dark fishing poles juts out from the pier's edge and creates a silhouette against this wondrous sky. These poles are, of course, held by only the most worthy of French fisherman. To my left, an endless stream of readied sailboats bob and sway, prepared for the coming day.
As the sun makes its final descent into the ocean's bottom, the fish settle, the birds disappear, and the day sleeps. My silence is broken by two burly, greasy and sweaty fishermen behind me who speak beautifully and elegantly within a backdrop of swirling water as they glide by. I ease my head in the direction from which I came and force myself off of nature's magical vista.
I begin to make my way into the endless, crowded, thunderous mob of humans. With the moon, like always, as my guide, I take these steps, and look back at my scene. I knew it well, but not like the others. Now it is gone. The night has taken over. Maybe nobody knows about those majestic fish, that pearly moon, that brilliant sun, and that endless sky. They look at it, but they do not see it. They listen to it, but they do not hear it. They are in it, but they do not feel it. They rush violently, they worry incessantly, and they speak roughly. They will not remember it.
But I will. And I will forever.
Julian Lindemuth attends Petaluma High School in Petaluma, California.
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