I remember spring breaks as a kid. My mother packing up every beach towel and bottle of sunscreen we owned. We’d only have one bag each since bathing suits and flip flops didn’t take up much room. I remember searching for my little 110 film camera and best sun visor. I tucked lip balm and Danielle Steel into every pocket and crevice I could find. I scoured objects for batteries to kidnap for my Walkman Cassette Player. I would squint through the back seat windows counting down the mile markers and day dreaming of the perfect surfer dude that would teach me to ‘hang-ten’.
That is in my Judy Blume dreams.
Instead, my mom shuffled us off for a week to whatever relative would take us for as long of the week they would handle us. But, that’s ok. The banks of the tiny Arkansas river and twisted oak and birch trees were all the Caribbean I needed then. The old brick wall that still stands today was my castle, fortress, tent, grocery store, drive-thru, and dinner table. My skin tanned golden brown on those muddy banks and sun bleached my hair blonde just as the Florida sun would on summer vacations. Those precious few family vacations seared enough memories that spring breaks were just an extension. The waves and ripples crashed the banks with the same force and foamy hypnotism. The water may be darker than my beloved Jamaican beaches, but I still can almost taste the sea salt.
I never packed a suitcase to head out for a week with friends, to wander the piers and boardwalks in silly anticipation of catching a cutie’s eye when I was 16. Didn’t mean I didn’t try from the shadowy shores of the Mississippi River. The delusional independence of a driver’s license and the clouded mind of a romance reader. The taste of sin mixed with memories of salt caused pages after pages in notebooks to be filled with silly prose of promises of sex and forever afters.
I have dipped my toes in many beaches’ shores. Snorkeled off the coast of the Caribbean and dove under the volcano edges in Hawaii. My skin tingles with excitement as the rays of spring give hint to the heat of summer. I wait and remember over the brisk week of spring the beauties of the coral reef and the many darting fish waiting for me to explore their magnificent homes… during summer break.
During honey drizzled nights, fireflies, and sin…
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