There isn’t much change outside

It’s another day. The golden sun rose a few hours ago. In the morning, I heard the owner shouting at his wife and children. There seems to have been the same sort of arguments I have heard for the past five years or so ever since they moved into the house. The man is upset that the women isn’t paying enough attention to himself and the children. The women thinks the man can do more than just work at the store, always changing jobs. The evenings are better. The man comes home very late, often drunk. The women is home early from work. She gets the children from her friend’s home, where they are during the day. Sometimes I hear a little screaming, this time from the women, late at night. She is helpless, I could see.

The little children are now back from their school. The boy, who is about 9 years old, always starts playing with the flat stones, trying to toss them onto me. Sometime, the stones bounces a couple of time. Now-a-days, he has gotten better. The little girl, about 4 years old, wades her feet near the edge. I can feel her little feet shiver as they dip into me. She keeps talking to herself. Sometimes, she gets the boy’s attention. She wants him to play with her. The boy is old enough to realize that their family can be better and have more quiet times. He takes away his anger sometimes on me; the stones aren’t flatter and they pierce my body and the impact is subdued by my vastness.

Before this family moved in, there used to be just a man living there. He would spend the evenings sitting by my side, often with music on. He loved to play his Cello; I guess he was single and a practicing musician. Every Tuesday and Thursday, he would have little visitors, about 5-8 of them. I could hear the concord of strings producing music that would drift off the slightly open doors and windows. After the class, most of the children would be picked off by their parents or relatives. There would be almost always, one child or another left behind. He seemed to enjoy spending the time with the child. He would get the child near me and I could hear him tell stories of his childhood to him or her. Sometimes, I could hear long silences. Maybe, he was remembering his own little boy or girl. He would break away from the silence by playing the Cello again. This time, he wasn’t teaching but entertaining. I could hear the boy laugh; the voice piercing the evening breeze. Once the child was picked up, he would stay long into the evening sitting by himself. One day, I suddenly heard a siren wailing as an ambulance come rushing the driveway. They took away the man and I didn’t hear the Cello again. I kind of miss him; his melancholy reminds me of my own – all these years, standing there and watch time pass by. The nature around me hasn’t changed much. But it is these stories of people who have stayed at the house on the shore that changes.

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