the westminster news
Published by the students of Westminster School
By Lara Connor '22
Kate swings her legs over the ebbing pier. Just edging on turbulent, the half-moon catches the soup of each minute wave. I’m pretty sure life is easier for all those people who love the ocean, Kate thinks to herself, even if they don’t live near one. Even if they have never touched sand.
There’s something about what it takes to love the ocean… the unknown, the salt, the currents that envelop your escaping thighs. The sand that sticks everywhere when you’ve come out and no matter how much you dust and dust you won’t feel clean until someone calls you beautiful again. It would be nice to love the ocean.
“I am not an ocean person,” she whispers, aloud this time. The ebbing bay waters beneath her feet do not pull her attention. The damp spray is something she’ll need to wash off before she’s able to force herself to sleep come morning.
If the moon were full tonight, glittering the bay in panoramic vision, Hollywood executives would die by the thousands to learn that Kate is, in fact, not happy to be sitting on this dock. Against the waning moon. Alone and young, what everyone’s obsessed with being half of. The Oscars would keel over in golden adoration. But in fact, she’s not thinking about an upcoming audition or the poor boy who’s trying to hack it in Los Angeles that she met on the corner of a wealthy neighborhood with boarded up windows. There is no loss of a father or a secret girlfriend who split open her sexuality before breaking her heart. She contemplates the stillness of her hips and the soft pier beneath them, the pillowy ply that keeps her from plunging into the water at this and every coming moment. This is tolerable still. The adverse such is to be ‘one with the sea’ and while perhaps there are lulls in its motion, should Kate take in all the breath, her scarred lungs can hold and float for as long as God intends, I’m too tired, she thinks, even still. She’s found herself far enough between the entities here. Her own DMZ.
Kate fumbles for a light in the 7th-grade daisy dukes which instructed this first time in the night she contemplated her hips. They’d been fitting again. What color will you be? She wonders to a closed palm, having blindly fumbled through her nightstand on her journey to a middle ground. The royal purple surprise melts into the Los Angeles sky, and its light dances with the illuminated windows. What are you doing? Kate wonders. No one blinks back.
There’s someone around. A shuffle in the sand beneath the pier that doesn’t evenly stir into the deafeningly predictable flow of the tide. The screenwriter, casting Kate beneath this clear sky and writing her into this lonely life with purple lighters and scarred knees, would throw their star a bone by now. Hopeful for a moment only to be suddenly empty with breath, a homeless man corrals out of the base of the pier, his dark pants awash with saltwater and damp beard catching moonbeams in its dripping.
He doesn’t even have a bag, Kate thinks, did you take nothing with you in the fire?
She watches him stumble out of the water’s lapping tongues as if he has anything to give it. He wore shoes into the surf.