We met the summer after I graduated from college, when I moved in with my aunt and uncle for a year before applying to grad school, which turned into six years before applying to grad school. He was the first person I met in Berkeley. He smiled and told me I was overqualified, but would give my resume to the owner. I got the job.
We started dating a year later, the same year that my parents separated, one high school friend went blind, and another high school friend’s brother shot and killed himself. I was 22 years old; Mike was 21. We had sex on the Fourth of July. It was his first time.
We broke up in November, except we didn’t. And then we broke up in June, and we did.
I have journal entries that say things like Mike will be home soon, and when I wrote them, the phrase was fraught with meaning, it couldn’t be said without a hitch in the heartbeat. Mike will be home soon. We yearned for each other, once.
I'm still waiting to figure out what the Mike bits have to do with the beach bits. But they do, I'm sure of it.