By Jackie Leavitt
I put the water bottle down on the sidewalk cement, illuminated in the fading gold light of the sun as it sinks closer to its set. The thermos does not contain water, but red wine bought the night before at a 7-Eleven – the second most expensive wine in the store, costing $10.95, plus tax. It makes an almost empty echo as it his the ground. It started ¾ full about 20 minutes ago.
I clumsily pull out my notebook from my shoulder bag and find a black pen buried at the bottom, likely stolen from someone else. I focus on the button end, bring my thumb up, and pointedly push my finger down to make the inked plastic pop out. I open my notebook, flip to a blank page past scribbles, diagrams, itineraries, notes and drawings. I rest the book on top of the railing, which rims the Santa Cruz cliffs with waves crashing along the coast and surfers sliding along in the water.
I focus on the page, hesitating between stating my point or tapping into my wine-induced romantic-writing mind frame. Decision made. I scrawl something mostly illegible yet hopefully poetic, describing the scene. And then I come to my point.
What is the point?
And then I pause.
I don’t remember the point.
I had a point, before I got into the flow of setting up the point.
I blink, my eyelids heavy. I had intended to share the wine, before you walked away from our shaded perch overlooking the ocean. And after banefully imbibing and morosely mulling things over, then I walked away with my quickly emptying bottle, searching for some sunshine.
I continue to stare at my notebook, as if the point will magically manifest itself on my white page. From the corner of my vision, I see a person wearing a blue-and-white shirt come up behind me. And you slide your arms around me, and put your cheek next to mine. It is warm, like the sun.
It’s as if a sigh of relief escapes my lips, although it doesn’t.
I turn around to you after I put away my notebook and kiss you. Hard. About 10 times. And I remember the point.