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The Rolling of the Waves

Taking It Easy

By Michael O'ConnorPublished 2 months ago 5 min read
Top Story - January 2024

It’d be so easy to say that tonight I just went for a dip and got some dinner, but I won’t. Feeling a little low after rediscovering the soft, warm touch of a woman last night, I take the bike and cruise down to Cua Dai with 50k in my pocket. The lady who I pay to park keeps offering me coconuts until she was shown that I had a beer in my hand. A walk in the dark along the shore shows me what quiet is. The waves crash down so gently as a breeze almost sneaks by. There’s a young couple hanging off each other's arms and laughing before they settle in a wooden lounge chair to make out under the moonlight. I find a seat nearby just hoping to be seen - hoping that a beautiful woman will stroll by and want to have a beer and a cuddle with me. The rolling of the waves settles my maladjusted thoughts that swirl in a pool of wonder. One wave comes in to meet the sand, and another follows, and another…

I feel a natural high that can only be induced by natural things, and rest my head on the back of the chair as the dopamine in my brain sends me slowly into a nap state. Nothing but the sound of the ocean, the wind tickling the umbrella and some people playing on the sand further down. I rock and sway as the thinking comes and passes, there’s only me and my eyelids. No imagery, no anger, just me and my eyelids. My eyelids lift to show me that I am in fact still here on the beach, it comes to me as a surprise.

I walk with awareness towards the darkened sea, the bright white lights from the restaurant shining onto my back and reflecting the ripples ahead. Each footstep in the sand is known and important. This suits me, I think. This, not the chaotic loudmouth that lives in my brain making his escape each day. This, right here, this bliss. The water is warm and greets me with a smile. It breaks but doesn’t try to push me out. She reminds me of her strength, yet I stand my ground without force. I don’t fight her. Shallows turn deeper as I kneel slightly lower to be engulfed by her loving arms. I kneel my head into her lap and she strokes my hair and head, she tells me it’ll be alright, she tells me that I’m loved and that I’m worthy and I’m strong. I turn to gaze at the brightest of the shore, but quickly divert my attention back to this beautiful lady, as the fluorescent light bounces from her curves. “Thank-you” I say aloud. “Thank-you so much.” I feel a sudden relief. “I love you” and a deep breath in and out “thank-you.” I begin making my way back to shore as a lady in the nhá hàng looks on. Soon they leave and the lights go out. My time to follow suit. I collect my belongings and make it back to the bike. A quick search for a particular bar falls short, and I fall into agreement that food is the better option. Fresh food served fast from the comfort of a little red stool Riding to an unknown destination has its perks. There’s always those same old trusty locations that defy adventure and new experiences, but I deny them tonight. I ride past the pharmacy where the lady sits alone waiting for customers, past our local mini-mart and along the main strip. There’s a happy man blasting techno from his street stand selling happy balloons, I give him a happy smile and a wave. I see the lady crouched by her roadside fire pit, burning pages of paper, one page at a time, one at a time…

A few places appear to me as appealing, but none so appealing as the one I slam on the brakes and pull over for - the tinier the seats, the better the food. She doesn’t understand my English, but understands the 40k I hand her and the hunger in my eyes for a warm meal. She waves different slabs of meat that I agree to before she embarks on her journey of matching an assortment of flavours with a wholesome touch. I park myself on the street as she meets me with a large bowl of noodle soup, and a plate of chopped green chilli and lime wedges. She moves the jar of pickled red onions and carrots closer, nodding that I understand to mix them in with the soup. She gestures to the liquidy sauce and points at the jar of muddled red chilli and onions with oil. I give her an approving nod and begin adding all the ingredients to my already perfect dish. The bowl of serenity meets my lips as I indulge without caution. The locals laugh a little but I’m quick to smile back and make sure they know I’m cultured enough to handle a pair of chopsticks. I finish with a cigarette on the curb side as the traffic rolls by. Motorbikes passing one by one, one by one…

“Cám ơn chi, rât nòng” (Thankyou, very tasty.) She nods to say you’re welcome and that I pronounced it right. The ride home reveals that the techno has stopped playing, the fire has finished burning and the pharmacy lady has closed up for the night. I get home and I’m stoned, a natural high that can only be induced by natural things.

“How was your night?”

“Good, went for a dip and got some dinner.”

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About the Creator

Michael O'Connor

If you like my content, you can purchase my published short story in ebook or paperback on Amazon!

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Comments (9)

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  • JOSIAH NWOKO5 days ago

    good job

  • Ha Le Sa26 days ago

    I couldn't stop reading. Your writing was really well done!

  • Matthew van der Wegenabout a month ago

    Unfortunately my money is tied up abroad and I have been rendered homeless. Please check out this link: Any help would be awesome! Even a $3 or $5 donation would be a great help. Thank you very much!

  • tarun bhattabout a month ago

    An expressive story. Great job. Congratulations

  • Daphsamabout a month ago

    Congratulations on Top Story.

  • The Dani Writer2 months ago

    An immersive sensory journey. Top Story congratulations!

  • Toby Heward2 months ago

    Quite good imagery usage here and a good mixture of word place and story writing. Bravo.

  • Naveed 2 months ago

    Awe-inspiring work! Keep up the remarkable effort—congrats!

  • Rachel Deeming2 months ago

    Meditative, I think in the way it was written. So much more than a dip and dinner.

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