STORYGLOSSIA    Issue 25    December 2007


Summer Flip Flops


by Julie Ann Shapiro



Sal, a finder of misplaced objects notices the sunglasses, flip flops and boxers left on the pathway heading to the beach. They are his gifts today, so gallant is he of these strays seeking ownership. He tries the glasses on first and feels dizzy. The world looks in 3-D as his eyes adjust. He walks over to the boxer's and places them in his short's pocket, then approaches the flip flops, though they are a women's size six, like his former girlfriend Marybeth and he wears a man's size 12. Still, he places his feet on the shoes. And walks, but he does not know where. He can't see, not at first, as he's teleported. His foot steps are light, lighter than his normal heavy stride, the one Marybeth used to say could make elephant's in a herd scatter in alarm. Yet, he hears the sand crunch under his feet, though he can't see it. He adjusts the glasses on the bridge of his nose and attempts to wipe the steam off the lenses. It is of no avail.

He calls out for Marybeth. She disappeared off the beach one day, leaving only her shoes in the sand, leather flip flops with painted on seashells, the ones hanging on the door at his house.



Into the wind he hears something. His hair moves and he turns his cheek, waiting for a kiss. She has found him, or he her. She breathes into his ear, hot salty air. He tries to speak. No words come, only air, air she takes, as her own. Sal falls on the sand, crushed by his love's need for oxygen or so he thinks. He gives her his breathes, every last one. And in return she takes his boxers, his flip flops and sun glasses and even the shorts off his body. Sal is left a ghost of himself, pale in the naked sun, whispering to eternity, "Marybeth . . . why . . . " but the sand phantom doesn't answer. Her only words are the trickle of sand grains on his bare chest.


Copyright©2007 Julie Ann Shapiro