A Third Kind of Water

Beyond the window of the library reading area, I felt I could name these two kinds of water.

The lagoon surface held up three radio towers, a perpetual shifting left to right, the wind movement reflecting the sky a few shades darker than the afternoon talk radio broadcasting from the shore.

The sea rested further beyond, intersected and bounded from the lagoon by a passing silhouette of cars, most often right to left, southbound this time in the afternoon. In front of these kinds water a  parking lot, not quite full, late afternoon shadows creating a field hosting two brothers playing with a third kind of water.

The older brother began by kicking the clear water bottle, a football of sorts, the beginning of a game. The younger brother cheered him on, delighting in his side of the asphalt court and the goal line of a handicapped spot. Flipping the bottle over to get it to land upright, with just the right amount of water. Two, three, four times, the clear bright light of the afternoon like a diamond. The elder, kneeling on the ground as he plays. The younger, following.

I am trying to understand my own feelings and search for some extract of happiness as I watch the boys, especially the youngest. What is it to be him, less burdened and more pure, not yet free, not yet broken necessarily, not me. I often think about my other friends, especially Martin, probably more often than is helpful, about being or about having an older brother, about being stuck in a place of time, stuck in the precipice of adulthood, and making the best of it.

The brothers’ older driver, could be cousin, or eldest brother, or uncle, or perhaps father, walks out of the library courtyard and into the parking lot carrying a unused single crutch, barking commands at the boys to stop playing.

The youngest swings his bottle like the brother, two lighthouses looking for a foundation for their small containers. In nearly any place we can find a game, and in these game can we find some small measure of the truth of the world?

The youngest haphazardly tosses the bottles behind him, blindly, in a swing-songing motion, and fires an expression of embarassment, hands to cheeks, and then delight after the guilt leaves him. The bottle clears the fences, a home run, into the bushes or perhaps all the way back into the mud – the two kinds of water  brought closer together in an act of innocent, naive, foolish rebellion.


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