Tallahassee/Wakulla Beach FL, 08/29/1980

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August 29, 1980

T-minus 4 years until I’m born.

I didn’t tell Melanie about my birthday.  As far as she’s concerned it’s November 27.  It’s ok.

She worked last night, is sleeping right now.  The last 5 days have been fantastic, going to the beach, and out to eat.  Even when she’s been at the hospital, I’ve managed to find ways to keep myself entertained.

Tuesday, while Melanie was at the hospital, I borrowed her car and drove down to Wakulla Beach, and spent the afternoon taking a surfing lesson.  The lesson itself took about 90 minutes, and then I had the board for another 90 to practice.  I managed to get up once, and I think I’m in love.

I’ve always loved the water, except in January on the Cape, and was really glad to have a chance to try something new.  The problem, as I see it now, is that I could see myself becoming addicted to this, but I really felt alive doing it, and it didn’t matter that I was alone.


I’m flying back tomorrow afternoon, but Melanie had asked me, Thursday, about coming back.

“You could move down here you know?” She was driving her Chevy Nova, and holding my hand.  We were heading to the beach.

“I can’t.  I have a job, and will hopefully be starting school in the spring.  Plus, I’m getting to visit and know some relatives I don’t know too well.”  She kept her eyes on the road, not wanting to look at me, as her eyes welled up. I continued,  “maybe when you finish at your hospital, you could move up with me?”

“That will be a couple years.”

“I don’t mind waiting.  You’re worth it.”  I didn’t know if she was being impatient or unsure I’d be able to be patient.

“You’re not stringing me along are you?  You don’t have some girl in Boston, and I’m just your sometimes fling?”  She pulled her hand away, putting it with the other on the steering wheel.

“Neither.” I suppressed a laugh, and put my hand on her thigh.  “My life is difficult, and confusing, and I have lots going on; but romantically, sexually, all those ways, there is only you.  Do you understand?”

She looks at me, the tears welling past the point of no return, and she nods letting them slide down her cheeks.

“I just love you, so much.” She pulled over and throws her arms around me, turning at her waist.

“I know.” I say, and she pulls back and looks at me.  “I love you, too.”

We sat for a couple of minutes before getting back on the road.


Melanie laid on a towel, and I decided to rent a surfboard and see if I could have any luck again.  It turns out my muscles were much more fatigued than I had counted on.  After a few attempts, I dragged the board back up onto the sand, dropped it on the far side of the towel from Melanie, and laid next to her on it.

The sun baked the salt from the water onto my skin, as the moisture separated and evaporated.  She was laying face-down, and I couldn’t tell if she was even awake.  Her normal scent was masked by the faux pina-colada smell of sunscreen.

I took a bottle of water from the cooler, and tried to remove the harsh salt taste from my palate.  Then I took out Slaughterhouse Five and read for a couple minutes until I fell asleep.

When I woke up, she was still silent, but now on her back, her eyes closed and I still wasn’t sure if she was awake.

It was the most perfect day I can remember.  Even with the tears in the car, she made me happy, and carefree in a way no one else had.


I’m going to go get some food, I want to cook her dinner tonight, our last night together, and I want to be back from the grocery store before she wakes up.

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