Prose Fridays: Alone at the End of the World

By John Winn

Creaky boards. This pier will be the death of me someday. But what can I say? I’m a creature of habit.  There’s nothing like sitting down here and gazing at choppy waters while the Sun struggles to peak through an overcast sky. Poetic if you ask me.

The wind’s chilly today. I can feel it on my cheeks. Must be at least fifty. I can only imagine what the temp must be in the water. Wonder if anyone’s taken a skinny dip to find out. I’d volunteer myself, if I weren’t so afraid of catching hypothermia, self-preservation and all.

Thank God for my coat.

Some of my best material was stormed up as I watched the lake churn. Novel after precious novels filled with star-crossed lovers, McMansions and lofty ideals of romance. The New York Times once called me the female Fitzgerald.  I’d correct them, but I am too apathetic to care.

The truth is, I am too jaded about love.  I’ve had too many lovers–cold women, emotionally unavailable men.   I feel like it’s a four-letter word dreamed up by suits in Madison Avenue and clerics who only want us to go forth and multiply.  About the only people who seem to care  care are the outcasts with false hope in their eyes.  The local girls mob me in their bikinis and laud me for bringing romance back bite by delicious bite.

I only wish they’d visit me twenty years from now–they’ll know the true meaning of love then.

As for me, my wrinkles are setting in.  My bones creak.  I think of the nights I used to spend naked in some stranger’s arms, pursuing nothing but wanton lust and desire only for the dream for dissipate after they left the next morning.  Now I’m a middle aged crone with nothing to show for it but a lucrative mirage of half-remembered dreams and fantasies on an iPad.  Why I get paid is beyond me.

Maybe that’s the real reason  I like this pier.  The waters have nothing to hide or conceal.  Just long, rippling raves of simplicity. No regrets to think about,  no what ifs to ponder.  Only an endless cycle of death and rebirth as the water deposits the remains of the ashes to fertilize the living shore.

One day the boards will give way and the water will claim me. But I’m not afraid of the plunge. It might be the best career move I ever make.

Social Media Coordinator (and managing editor) John Winn is Hennen’s Twitterer in Chief.  In addition to writing for Hennen’s, His work has been featured in A Twist of Noir, Lightning Flash, Racket Magazine, and plenty of other online magazines.  He lives in Greensboro, North Carolina