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Whenever I feel like having a pity party, I go to the beach. I let the noise of the waves and the heat of the sun beat and batter and squeeze all of the bad things out of me. The water and the heat waves run through me until I am clean of all miserable thoughts. I lay there on the sand, burying my feet into the fine, powdery softness. It’s a cool day, but when I close my eyes, the sun warms my face like the lights in a tanning salon. Synthetic and plastic, but soothing.

I try not to think about the warmth in her face. She’s not ready for a relationship, she says. She doesn’t think we click well, she says. She doesn’t really know what I’m thinking sometimes, she says. She says many things, none of which make sense. She says many things which make me turn cold.

I never knew what it was like to be tackled by a cocker spaniel before that day, but it’s actually quite scary. He came running down the beach with no warning at all and pounced directly onto my chest, forcing any air that might have been in my lungs into the sea spray. I opened my eyes to find a monster off a dog standing on me, tongue hanging out, drooling a little. No doubt the mongrel was deciding which part of my neck to attack first.

“Ohmygosh! Are you ok? I’m really sorry! Brinkley! Come here! Brinkley!” Brinkley got off of my chest and ran to his mistress. Stupid mutt I thought to myself as I rubbed the sand out of my eyes, collecting myself to begin ranting about the evils of unleashed, bloodthirsty dogs on the beach.

“I really am sorry, he never does that. He really is a very gentle dog.” She persisted. I stood up and looked at her so that I could format my soapbox speech to effectively crush her and spread my bad mood.

She was beautiful. Curly long hair tied back, shorts and a long sleeved tshirt. She had a frisbee in her hand, probably belonging to Brinkley. Her nose had a pink stripe across it and a line of freckles from the sun. And her dog! Oh sweet sweet dog! I have never seen such a beautiful, more gentle dog in my life! And then I proceeded to tell her what I really thought about her freckles and her dog.

“Oh, that’s ok, don’t even worry about it” I stammered.
“Are you sure you’re not hurt?”
“Oh yeah, I’m fine.”
“Ok, well, good.” and then she smiled. She smiled brighter than the sun. She smiled brighter than an eighty watt high intensity light bulb.

We took Brinkly to the boardwalk and bought him an icee. We watched the fishermen bring in the day’s catch, and we let ketchup drip down our chins as we ate corn dogs. We walked up the boardwalk that night listening to musicians and watching street performers busking for the crowds that appeared.

She gave me that electric, alive feeling. I came away from that evening charged. My feet shot electricity and energy down into the concrete with each step. My fingers zapped whatever they touched. And I walked down the street toward my house, buzzing like a transformer.

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