A selkie as my love

The ice on the breeze was one of the things that first enchanted me about that place, her long fair hair never able to be at peace; each cool whisper forcing a certain restless flutter of strands across her face then back again in sync with the rhythm of the waves. A convenient act of nature allowing her to avoid eye contact on our long wordless walks along the beach.

She always wore a long silvery grey woollen scarf, even in the summer. It was a sort of trade mark, and if she was out when I arrived, I could identify her lone figure with ease, plotting its way back along the waterline in the knowledge I was probably already waiting for her, bringing enthusiastic news from civilisation. Strange I suppose about the all weather scarf, it really was a totally unnecessary accessory, though she might as well have been naked as be seen without it.

She felt more at home near the water; there was always a certain kind of audible out breath from her lungs as we approached the sea grass fringing above the sugary descent, and she moved without hesitation in her passage down the dunes; whereas I would utter my internal ouches, labouring my passage further of course, as the sharpness jabbed every inch of my exposed skin. She always preferred the wet sand in amongst the worm casts when the tide was on the turn, better still if there were interesting stones or shells in the wash that she could crouch over and take her time to silently decide upon what to pocket and what to return to the ocean’s jaws.

Where had it all gone wrong? She wanted remote and coastal; she got it in abundance; no questions asked, no expense or time spared securing the perfect haven for her art. I was even happy to leave her to her own devices when she was working, I knew she needed the solitude just as a method actor must get to know each new character they need to inhabit. She was impossible to read and barely said a word to me these days. Is it me; or is it you I wanted to scream as delicately as possible across the breakfast table.

But I didn’t want to know the answer, didn’t want to lose her or force her to stay or go because of me. I think bar the chest pains it probably suits us both not to know where resolution lies. Then she’d still be my wife and I could answer with certain authenticity when asked how her latest project is going, or when she might join us next. I can’t deny that, in a way, I had always known how things would be if I chose to take a selkie as my love.


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