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grains of sand

Published on 22nd January 2018

“You’re doing that thing again.”



“What’s going on in that head of yours?”

She playfully nudges my head and we fall back into the sand. It’s cold so she cuddles up to me. A slight gust of wind blows up some sand and she snuggles even closer. We’re both looking up at the night sky and it’s cold and so damn warm at the same time.

“Do you want to talk about it?” she asks. The sun has long been replaced by the full moon. The beach is lit enough to allow me to make out her eyes. What I see in there I’m still trying to fully comprehend.

Sometimes I imagine breaking up with her, purely because she’s too perfect.

“You know, they’ve been getting worse lately,” she says. “At night you twitch, your arms have been flinging out too, you hit me in the face the other night and I was pissed at you because I was dreaming about sushi and you fucking ruined it you asshole.”

I smile.

“I watched you. While you were dreaming. Last night- I saw the look in your face, I think you need to talk to someone… even when you’re awake, its like you aren’t here.”

I look at her but I don’t say anything.

“Is there something you’re not telling me?”

Her words sound like they’re coming from another room. I don’t know how to respond so I just keep looking out at the flashing lights on the horizon. They float on the water and it is so damn fascinating. The lives of all the people on those floating metallic vessels - hundreds of humans suspended on a dark ocean waiting to get swallowed whole.

I should say something.

“I’ve been thinking about death a lot,” I say, still looking at the boats in the distance. She looks at me but says nothing. So I keep talking.

“In my dream - right before it happens -  I don’t feel fear… I almost welcome it. I’m trying to figure out what it means, or, why it’s always the exact same sequence of events, but, every time it feels new.”  

She just holds my hand.

I’m driving my car, there’s nobody in the passenger seat. It’s past midnight and rainy. I’m talking apocalypse shit. There are only a handful of cars on the freeway and my windshield wipers are on full blast but they do little to hold off the torrent of falling water. The music is loud and I’m looking forward to getting home and into bed, listening to the storm as I drift off. There’s a slight bend in the road, nothing dramatic, I’ve driven past this bend hundreds of times before, but I’m speeding. My car hits a massive puddle and it starts to fishtail, still on the bend, I try to correct it but all I do is make shit worse. The car flips and skids along the slick wet road. I’m upside down, still held in my seat as I slide across the wet asphalt. Time slows, and in the distance I see a large telephone pole. I’m sliding towards it. The point of impact will be the drivers seat. I know I will be instantly killed and the car, unrecognizable as it wraps around the pole like tinfoil.

Impact draws near and here’s the fucked up part.

I smile.

Then I feel a warmth. I think of my family, my friends.


Everything speeds up, time catches up. I hit the post and wake up in bed at the same time. I gasp for air as if rising from a deep ocean trench as I open my eyes.

I open my eyes.

I scoop up some sand with my right hand. It feels cold to the touch. I turn to her.

Do you ever feel like you’re living someone else’s dream?

But she’s not there. I allow the sand to slowly escape my grasp. Grain by grain. Not all of it though.

Not all of it.

Not yet.

I look to the horizon but it's darker now and the boats are gone. There’s no wind here.

That’s when I notice him standing before me. Just legs. Out of focus. I do not raise my gaze to his.

I thought I had more time.

“Let’s go,” he says. Not with words but with demeanor.

I sigh, get up, and walk to the shoreline. I do not acknowledge him but I can feel him following me.

“Must it be now?” I say as I walk.

“It must.”


“For it is so.”

“I don’t agree.”

“That’s not an option.”

“I thought I had more time.”

“They always do.”

“Open your palm.”

“I refuse.”

“Open your palm.”




“You’re doing that thing again.”


She playfully nudges my head and we fall back into the sand. It’s cold and she cuddles up to me. A slight gust of wind blows up some sand and she snuggles even closer until I sit up abruptly. She lays in the sand for a while and I take out my tobacco pouch.

Filter, paper, roll. Meditation.

“What’s your problem?” She says as she sits up. She’s looking at me with furrowed brow but I’m looking at the sand, searching for my lighter.

I bring the flame to my smoke, I can feel her staring at me, searching for something.

“What are you looking for?” I say to her.


“Well I’m here.”

“No. you’re not.”

I take a drag and scoop up some sand with my right hand. Slowly, I allow it to escape my grasp, grain by grain.

“I think you should see someone.”

“You think I’m crazy?”

“I’m not saying that.”

“You’re implying it.”

“I’m just worried about you.”

“I’m fine.”


“I’m fine.”

“Adrian please… just open your palm.”


The boats,

Where did they go?

Time freezes. Sound distorts.


Open your palm





“Are you okay?”

She lays back into the sand and gives me a warm smile, she holds her arm out invitingly.

“Come lay down.”

A slight gust of wind blows up some sand. I gaze at her moonlit features. Something’s wrong.


I don’t respond, I don’t lay down, instead I search the sand for my keys. I find them half-buried.

“Lets go for a drive.”