Nine Years Ago

I heard you stop breathing. In the dark of a too-early morning, it was loud and then not.

Time, a compound equation, has filled up with guesstimated milestones. The memories, sharp in the middle and hazy around the edges, remain a tide.

In grad school, I wrote a story about the three of us digging for dinner. It languishes on my old, heavy laptop. It tells of sea smells carried by coastal winds, of a low winter tide that exposed the mucky floor of Tillamook Bay, of the steamer clams — gaper, butter, littleneck, cockle — you loved to find and eat.

I cried in protest over eating them, even with butter. I couldn’t get past the cruelty of throwing the funny little creatures — who we had raked and dug up from the sand to plunk into hacked-off plastic milk jugs where their foot-diggers churned up bubbles — into boiling water.

The story tells, I suppose, of everything you already knew.


First shared on Instagram

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