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Time on Water by Robert Gibbons




In Concert


Rain on skylight with a sound reminding me of something I couldn't quite verbalize that late at night. Wind crawling around the roof, under eaves, trying to get in like an animal. I turned over to kiss her, almost burning my lips on hers. She woke up, telling me to remind her of the dream in the morning. She was in Long Beach, CA. A meeting at 2:00pm, but wanted to take a walk first. Her friend, Helen, mentioned a shop not far away. Owned by 3 or 4 Irish brothers, according to Helen, you could get coffee & other stuff. Beautiful day. My wife took a left, as instructed, walking on a road alongside the ocean, delighted to think about how it would be to take a dip in the ocean at lunchtime in the summer. She walked past a shop called Good Tidings by the Sea, but didn't think it was the place Helen described, so kept on going. Shortly, remembering the meeting, she headed back, stopping in at Good Tidings. At first it was kind of empty. Didn't think it was the right place. Then saw the Irish brothers talking, one of them saying they were going to have to leave or sell the place because no one was buying anything. But the other brothers insisted that this place was theirs, it was the right place to be. She started looking around for things to buy, saying that she noticed me at the counter getting ready to buy two instruments. Sitting kind of cross-legged on the counter with a beautiful drum, she recalled I was testing it out, quietly. The drum was covered on the sides with beads & seeds & feathers. African. I was waiting for the store clerk to test out one other instrument—a wind instrument, like a penny whistle. She approached me, but didn't want to disturb my focus on the instruments. So we didn't really talk—she let me have space, but stayed next to me... Woken up by a kiss. A loving dream story, capturing the beads I heard falling on the skylight, the wind in an instrument, her blazing body under a Southern California sun.


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