When it rains the river floods over. Gradually the deposited mud from the river accumulates. Year after year the mud piles up. This town is just a river delta. Perhaps I’m buried underneath all that mud.
Of course, it’s not all mud. We’ve got palms and mesquite here as well. The land here is extra fertile; you could grow an orange tree without trying. They say it’s all because of the river. In Babylon when the Tigress and Euphrates would flood they thought it was God raining down his moral judgment. When the clouds cleared and flowers sprung up from watery graves, they also said it was God’s miracle. Though, I’m sure it was more about the river than God. The river giveth and it taketh.
The river is always restless in the summer. Ocean currents swell and winds pick up. Everyone feels a storm far off in the distance, making it’s way to our backyard. Watching the palm trees bend to the wind, I too felt the water rushing in my blood. I tried to ignore it, but even after the storm passed, I could still feel a river coursing eternally inside of me.
Will came after the storm. He stumbled onto my front lawn and offered to help pick up the tattered remains of palm trees. When he spoke his voice was gentle like the Gulf on a warm day. As I silently worked, he talked and talked till his voice became a mere melody, the sound of the water heard through a seashell.
Every day we spent together, the quiet me would listen to that tempting tune. Until eventually I found myself wrapped in his embrace, rocking back and forth in motion with the ebb and flow of the tides. When Will wasn’t talking, I would catch him gazing at the Gulf. He once told me that instead of blood he had salt water coursing through his veins. Just as you don’t notice the clouds moving above you, we hardly noticed the days turning into months.
But when the summer months came again, I found myself still living in this town of mud, still watching the northern Texans come and go with the season, still waiting for the storm to pass. As Will boarded up the windows and laid sandbags down near the door, I knew that things could not last. Though a part of me still hoped that our relationship would survive, already I could hear the harsh whistle of the wind calling from beyond these parts. The river inside me began to stir once again.