A Family Outing

by E. J. Evans

At unpredictable times the twin demons of rage and fear took hold of my wife, and she would be in thrall to something fierce and merciless that I could not see. At such times there was nothing I could do for her and I was frustrated and bewildered. One evening after watching and listening to her bickering bitterly with her three children for hours, I told her and the kids that we were all going for a walk on the beach. I got them all into the car and we drove through town and over the long bridge across Pensacola Bay, and through Gulf Breeze and then across the bridge over the Santa Rosa Sound and all the way out to Pensacola Beach. I parked in the parking lot near the water tower and the boardwalk and led them all out onto the sand. We trudged along, the brilliant lights from the shops on the boardwalk glaring on one side, and the vast intense darkness of the sea and sky on the other. I could hear the waves breaking on the beach in the dark. “Why are we doing this?” my stepson Arnie said, “this is stupid.” My wife and the kids all looked like people who had been sentenced to hard labor in a penitentiary. They looked down and frowned as they struggled to walk through the deep sand. I walked on ahead of them, looking around at the sand and the black sky, feeling the wind from the sea. I don't remember what I said, if anything, but what I wanted to say was “Look around you, everything is open and flowing free. The world is mostly dark and we know so little.”

Musical composition by Victor David Sandiego

E. J. Evans is an essayist and poet living in Cazenovia, NY. His work has appeared in many literary journals, including Confrontation, Your Impossible Voice, The Transnational, The Midwest Quarterly, Poetry East, Rattle, and Mudfish. His chapbook First Snow Coming is forthcoming from Kattywompus Press. He is working on a book of personal essays.

Comments

By Sylvia on Jul 21, 2015 20:12 (UTC)

So vivid; I want to join the speaker and family members.