elephant dirt
July 13, 1987 03:36 PM

Yesterday I had a whole flood of childhood memories after reading this description of a desert.

Behind the rec center and past the beach everyone knew and the rocks I wasn't supposed to climb on was. Another planet. No. Another time.

A field of high beach grass. Grass forever. And past forever, dirt. The most amazing dirt. Dessicated red clay, like elephant skin. Not just the dirt, but a hill of dirt. Crater over the hill.

I had these sandals. These were the sandals I wore the day after I gouged an as-yet-incompletely-healed hole into my foot on a tent peg. Rich brown and close-toed. With a sole made of hard hard light wood. They clacked on a tiny heel that I was so proud to be permitted. I could have lasted all summer with those shoes, a pair of khaki shorts, and a white button-down shirt. I could have.

And I would walk, alone, over the beach and the rocks. Through the grass and over the hill. To what felt like 1932. Or a romantic facsimile thereof. And I would sit. On that elephantine earth. Book in hand, doing nothing.

It was the most beautiful I'd ever felt.

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