Damn, but I didn't mean for it to happen.

She let me drive her van once, when I was twelve, and maybe that was all it took for me to love someone else's wife.

I was twelve, and she was well, I don't know what she was except that she was married so it's not like she could really be in my age group, or even generation. I lived a couple of houses down from her, and she used to give us rides to the beach in her big green van, and I remember the smell of sunblock and surf and seaweed.

She would lie on the sand, tan and fit in her bikini and talk to us sometimes like we were older than twelve or thirteen, and we would talk back, trusting like only kids who haven't yet been hurt by time or betrayal or any of the other myriad of pains and perturbations that accompany advanced adolescence can trust. I guess you could call it innocence, but if you called me that back then I would have denied it.

It didn't last long. Innocence, I mean.

My infatuation with the beach lasted much longer, but my love for someone else's wife only lasted through that summer.

This node should have been a shell, so I rescued it.

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