Daniel and I are with a friend at a beach house out in Malibu, like a really nice beach house, with a view, and we've spent the afternoon eating a lot of barbeque and playing with the dogs and trying not to embarrass ourselves in front of famous people who—let's be real here—aren't noticing us anyway.
We've been told the waves are phosphorescent but it's too light yet out to see.
And so, hours pass, and we drink sticky things and wave off bugs and lose our shoes and then, it's all of a sudden, it's evening. The house, as it happens, is between two huge fireworks barges, one, it's gossiped, belonging to the Pitt/Aniston party up the beach, and the other to some other famous somebody a little way down. And we, party-goers, riffraff, minor celebrities, all kind of pile down the long switch-backing stairs to the water.
Midway down the stairs the fireworks are already starting, making that thundershower sound I love them for, I think, more than the light. And through the people, and the plants, and the errant noise and vague tumbling sensation, you can see the waves, which indeed, as they crash, glow.
And that's the perfect moment. Not the party, not the fireworks that follow. But this hinge in between. This unformed space where nothing matters. One is cushioned, of course, by the feeling that something else is starting, yes. But the sensation of it being perfect was, in a very real way, grounded in the casualness. Not a summit moment at all. A hinge. A specific part of its pleasure was that one was relieved of counting one's pleasure. Was it a good barbeque? Were they good fireworks? Who knew? It was exactly the point at which one was relieved of rendering judgment. One descended train-tie stairs in dimming light, haloed in an anticipation so sure it freed one even of anticipating.
It was just this thing. Which made it perfect.
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