I met Cody during my vacation in Myrtle Beach, SC. He was the lifeguard who watched over the strip of beach my hotel was on. He was young, probably only a few years older than me (although I'm not very accurate at guessing ages). He was blonde and very tanned from working on the beach all summer. He was friendly and talkative, and I enjoyed getting to know him a bit. I found out he is from a town in a valley in the Appalachians Mountains in North Carolina.
I first met him while I was strolling slowly down the beach, looking for shark teeth. He asked me if I'd found any good teeth. I told him no, just small ones, so he kindly informed me that the far pier had some nice big shark teeth to be found.
The next morning (a Tuesday) as I was walking by, again searching for shark teeth, he asked me if I'd gone to the pier yet. I told him no, but I was hoping to go that day or the next.
Wednesday morning he asked me again if I'd made it the pier. I was happy to tell him that yes, I had gone to the pier, and yes, I had found some decent sized shark teeth.
Thursday we talked again. I was very restless that day, and had gone up and down the beach several times, so he was wondering if I was bored. I told him no, but I was restless, and he asked me want that the same thing? I insisted they are different, and he eventually agreed. We had a bit of a conversation, and I started to find that I looked forward to our conversations, as they added something unique to each day.
Friday we talked for probably 45 minutes. I found out he wants to become an underwater welder, a very cool job I must admit.
Saturday we talked about sports. Earlier in the day my family had been throwing around a Frisbee, and he was wondering how it had gone. I told him some of us weren't very good at it (specifically my younger brothers) He asked if I was, so I told him I am decent at throwing it normally, but was still working on fancy throws. He also gave me a new view on soccer that day. I've had little respect for professional soccer players because they always seem like such wimps at every possible chance. Cody said that while he didn't watch much soccer, he knew enough to know that each game half is an hour and a half, no stopping the clock, so soccer players will feign injuries to give their teammates a chance to breathe. Later in the day my youngest brother, Jacob, and I were throwing the Frisbee again. Cody drove by in his golf kart-dune buggy thing, and held out his hands for my brother to throw it to him. Jacob missed, so he stopped and waited in his vehicle while Jacob ran and got the Frisbee. The second time it was a good throw and Cody caught it. Jacob tried to get in the way so Cody would throw it to him, but he threw it to me instead. And thankfully I didn't embarrass myself, I caught it very well.
Sunday was the last day I saw Cody. I didn't walk at the normal time, because we had church, so I missed talking to him in the morning. Late in the afternoon I went wading waist deep, since no one would go swimming with me and it is dangerous to swim in the ocean by yourself. I got out of the ocean about where Cody was, and he asked me if I was enjoying my walk in the water. I told him I'd rather be swimming, but could not persuade anyone to join me. We talked a bit. He said he wanted to swim as far as he could out into the ocean, rest, and then come back. He asked me how far I would be willing to swim. Neck deep? Yes. Beyond where I could touch? Yes. A mile? I said I would swim as far as I could if I had a lifeguard and a flotation device. He said he would do it with me if he didn't have to work.
Yeah right, I didn't know then, he never told me, but that was his last day.
Monday he was replaced by a couple other lifeguards. I figured he just had a day off. But he was gone today too, so I guess he has returned home to his family. He is probably relieved to be done work. And now I am numbered among all the other people he met this summer. Probably forgotten. ( its that sounds bitter, it is not meant to be bitter at all; it is just a fact)
I have to admit: I miss our talks, even though it was only for a week. They added an interesting point to each lazy day.
And so passes another person from my life. I wish I could keep up with all the people I meet: I want to know if he follows his dream of becoming an underwater welder. I want to know if he was actually a Christian, or just mentioned his church softball team because it was part of his childhood, and relevant at the moment. There were questions I wanted to ask him that will remain unanswered...
But people of the present become people of the past, even those we now call our best friends. It is a bitter thing, but life moves on to better things.