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  • 2008 wasn't my best or brightest year, seeing the dissolution of a nearly six year marriage early in fall and taking my worldview and plans for life back to the drawing board with it, but that August my friend and I packed up the little trunk of his blue roadster with a couple of backpacks and a tent and headed east for a week. In somewhat of a quarter life crisis, watching my big plans for life starting to unravel, taking a trip without plans with a long-time friend was perfect.

    I haven't been back to the ocean since then, though I've flown over it a couple of times in the years following.

    Quite late one night, I drove the car from downtown Washington D.C., across Chesapeake Bay, to the nearest beach--Ocean City, Maryland, according to our smartphone. Bob slept the majority of those three or four hours. We were both exhausted and trying to make the most of the time we had before getting back to work, real life, and other such inconveniences. As perfect timing would have it, I pulled up to the beach in Ocean City just before sunrise and was overwhelmingly happy, first to see the ocean again for the first time in years and secondly to be out of that car's seat.

    Sometimes I wonder how our states of consciousness affect our memories. There's no doubt I was beyond exhausted when I took this picture on my Blackberry, but I still remember that couple, though they're incredibly pixelated in this picture, being the only possible perfect accent to this amazing sunrise. They were both elderly--maybe in their 60s? Easily could have been 70s. They were the only two people as far north or south as I could see that morning.

    They were dancing.

    Just dancing.

    Enjoying perfect weather on a perfect beach in front of a perfect sunrise--there's what everyone wants in life. The people who claim they don't simply don't realize they do--love. Nobody else around to impress--nobody at all if we hadn't been there, just an elderly couple swaying together at half past five in the morning. I'm sure I could go find another beautiful sunrise on the east coast. I could take another road trip. But looking back on that week-long road trip over four years later, what I remember the most is this picture.

    If we reach our elderly years and have someone we've shared our lives with and we can be simply content on a beach, swaying with each other as the sun comes up, we've gotten as close to winning this game of life as we ever will.

    I passed out on the beach for sometime shortly after taking this picture. Of course, they were gone when I woke up.
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