The light is soft, it’s created a kind of glow over everything that you seem to notice only on holidays. The hours between afternoon and evening are the most gentle, the most peaceful, when there is a sense of calm after a full day combined with a steady excitement for the time that stretches before you, like the endless stroll along the beach.
The day was spent with sand between your toes and a sheen on your skin that was a mix of sweat, suncream and salt water. You’ve showered, but you can still feel the beach on your arms and the pink tinge has remained on your face. It doesn’t look like burn though, it looks like life, like you’ve been kissed by the day. There are some new freckles, spots of experience on your skin that appear and disappear with the seasons as though to mark the passing of time, the changes in yourself. Your hair is still damp, falling down your back and creating cooler air for you to breathe, your jewellery is glinting in the golden glow and you begin the routine of the evening, the simple pleasures that make time feel abundantly special and explicitly plain all at once.
On the balcony they’re waiting, head in a book, rosé open and a glass waiting for you. A bag of crisps from a European brand you haven’t heard of but grabbed at the little shop on the way home has been part consumed and a bowl of pistachios sits with the cracked shells mixed up amongst the soft green saltiness. Sit down, book closes, eyes up, smile, sip, happy. So happy. You think it’s funny, the amount of time you can spend with a person and still have things to say, how you can live through the same day and still have things to share about it, thoughts you kept to yourself that now slip out as you work your way through the bottle. Dry and crisp and clear, as your mind slowly becomes less so and the sound of laughter fills the air. Your eyes take on that familiar sparkle, it’s the flirting, the cheekiness of the unknown evening.
Outside there’s a soft breeze, a chill but the heat of the day still lingers in the air so you’re not cold, maybe that’s the wine though. You walk down the cobbled sandy street, hand in hand, arms swinging like they’re wings, like you’re trying to take off. You feel light enough to take off. You stop at the restaurant, one you ate at two nights ago, or was it three? The softness of the days mean they blurr together in the warmest of ways. Same table, same waiter, same menu, same wine. You pick up the glass by the stem, eye the menu, you don’t know what to have but it doesn’t matter, in this mood it seems impossible for anything not to taste like heaven. Olives stuffed with secrets arrive, bread that you can hear as much as you can taste when you bite it. The evening goes on and the sun sets, creating a brief dusk over the sea before it says goodbye.
It’s colder as you leave so you take their jacket off the back of their chair without asking but they don’t say anything, the don’t mind, they never do. The walk back is slower, arm in arm with steps that are more gentle, attempting to let the night linger for as long as possible, to try and pause the moment, to hold off on sleep. The sun and the wine amplify your exhaustion but it’s ok, you don’t mind the feeling of it in your bones when there is nothing else to do. It’s dark now, a quick look at the stars before you duck into your summer cave.
The day is done, but tomorrow will be exactly the same, how lovely.