This is a revised version of a piece written by Antonios in 2018, we hope you enjoy it!
Artwork by Julia Jarzyna
It has been difficult recently.
A blend of arduous and monotonous thoughts, and moments, have seemingly prevailed.
Daily routines consisting of chores bring forth added weight to a back, already constrained.
nothing hurts me anymore.
I am numb to pain and suffering. Here,
among the Elements.
It is early evening now. The winter makes its presence known as the cold air sifts through to the bone, causing one to tremble.
A guitar emerges, and we know what is coming.
Simon strums the strings as a melody unique to the one before reveals itself to the winter cold.
David begins to sing.
I close my eyes and embrace the moment, a smile across my face.
I feel relief.
The week has been lonely. Tough.
Yet here we all are, smiling, laughing.
I knock back my drink and grimace; it is not the wine I'm used to.
It isn't wine.
I laugh and return my focus to the present.
Their voices are louder now as their chorus kicks in.
I recognise the lyrics now and join in,
when I can.
I am grateful for their existence, their presence.
I try not to continue reflecting on the bitter solitude of the past week.
The draft again sweeps through the room. Brr. I shiver.
Goosebumps appear on my exposed skin.
I sit on my hands for warmth before surrendering to the Elements;
I wear my jumper.
The immediate sensation of comfort deriving from the cotton material eases my shivering. But I am still cold.
I stand up. Like a dog, I move with purpose to solve the problem of cold.
The alcohol is taking over now. I embrace it and begin to laugh more. Finally, I'm ok.
We walk down the beach now. It is dark, I can barely make out the silhouettes of David and Simon, but I know they are there.
They're in conversation now, but I'm not focusing.
Instead, I am listening to the serenity of the beach.
The cold now does not bother me. Ha, the irony.
Before, my reaction to the cold was excessive, as if I was suffering from hypothermia. Yet, exposed in natures backyard,
I am ok.
Exposed to the howls of the city's wind off its shoreline,
I am ok.
I inhale through my nose, momentarily closing my eyes.
I am ok.
I open my eyes, smiling.
We hear each other's footsteps trudging through the moist sand.
The darkness impedes my visibility, and so one cannot see the footprints we leave behind each step.
The sound of our footsteps is barely noticeable as the howling of the wind and crashing of the surf dominates the setting.
I look up; Simon has found a quiet spot, somewhere to sit.
We follow his determined, albeit drunken, lead.
No word is uttered during this brief moment of
delegation in reserving a portion of the seating, which now
directly focuses our attention on the deadly warzone of the ocean before us.
I point to the breaking waves.
"The foam from the sea is amazing."
They agree and debate whether the distant lights on the horizon belong to a boat or lighthouse.
"It could be a stationary boat with lights."
They look at me before breaking out into howls of laughter.
I smile and laugh, too, realising the silliness of my statement.
The solitude and challenging moments of the last week seem like a distant memory.
I smile as we embrace each other with drunk affection, laughing and talking.
Nothing hurts me here.
Here among the Elements.