Lost to my thoughts while peacefully drifting inwards to the center of abuelito’s dam, my back laying flat and most uncomfortably against the old rickety planks of the little rowboat he once fashioned for me. My bare legs riddled with goosebumps and carelessly draped over its side, my weight tipping the slight white boat closer to the water’s edge. I sink my feet and ankles beneath the foggy surface that surrounds me and listen as the waves lap against the wooden vessel; cooing and calming my adrenaline fueled body. The sharp and cool November air biting against my exposed flesh does not worry me as it should. In fact the intensity surprisingly comes as a welcome relief. It seemed to stir some lost emotion from within my now unimpassioned soul. My apparent sluggish and stagnant state of late was beginning to worry those around me. Funnily enough I didn’t feel like my undemonstrative manner was cause for alarm.
I did recognize just how withdrawn I’d become but I knew there was no proximate cure in sight, for what ameliorated my pneuma was now buried six feet underground. Then there was the estate itself; abuelito’s once prized and most charming property. A grand red bricked colonial home enveloped by sweeping green plains and dotted with trees that soar high into the heavens. The moment my father signed ownership over to that stranger was the moment everything within me perished. All that I was and had become was through my grandfather and through this very place. My identity was and will forever remain within these once perfectly manicured grounds. But it was the dam itself that held such importance to me and it was the sole reason for my spontaneous haste and need for a getaway. The thought of that large body of cloudy water and my precious little rowboat had me itching to see them one last time so I jumped into my vehicle and drove back out this way. It was why I wasn’t deterred by the padlocked gate and jumped the fence instead. Initially I had just wanted to see the dam, take a photo or two and leave, but the sight of my boat made my mind swirl. I had to take it for one more spin. I even had the brilliant idea to somehow cram my little rowboat into my Jeep and cart it back to my apartment, but laying on it now and watching little gossamer grey clouds fill the skies above I had found some peace and didn’t quite feel like moving anytime soon. Though I was still contemplating on taking my little namesake boat back home with me.
The deep song of a nearby perched bluebird startles me and almost throws me right into the shadowy depths of the water below. “Damn that bird”, I say through gritted teeth as I frantically try to steady the now furiously rocking boat as it threatens to topple me into the icy water. I instinctively turn back around to face the dock, half expecting to find my beloved abuelito seated there with his worn out copy of Ficciones and grey chino pants perfectly rolled up to his knees. His feet skimming and dancing along the surface of the water, looking up in amusement to see his little florecita startled by the bird’s song. His untamed roaring laughter would shudder through those tall trees and make light of that bird. But the dock was empty, void of any life. With a small sigh I pull my legs back into the confines of the small boat and lay back down against its planks. Attempting to get as comfortable as possible. I go back to staring at the ombre sky above me, framed by pretty emerald-green leaves that sway gently with the winds soft graze. I can feel tears begin to creep and gather in the corners of my blue eyes.
Tears brought on by a scene ceased to ever recur and now constrained to live on as a memory held in the banks of my sieve of a mind.