by Kitty Ferguson
I am sitting in a rocking chair on the front porch of the Paradise Hotel, taking in the night sights and sounds of Myrtle Beach. Radios are blaring. Car and trucks motors are revving up as they cruise up and down the boulevard. Young children are screaming and squealing with delight as they run around a busy parking garage. Cars have to honk their horns to get the children to move out of the way.
Young girls stand on the sidewalks. Boys in the “toys” cruise by, yelling, “Hey baby!!” and other delightful comments. The girls are smart enough to turn their backs on these boys.
A pizza delivery guy is sighing and making sounds under his breath, as he is top heavy with too many pizza boxes piled in his arms. He has to keep shifting his weight under the heavy load.
There is a middle-aged woman who is wasted and keeps repeating, “Can I get a free sample?” to the man behind the ice cream counter. A saleswoman is yelling out from behind a podium, “Free trips on the casino boat!”, trying to entice people to look at timeshares. Too much noise and confusion for now, but tomorrow is another day.
Today, I exit the back door of the Paradise Hotel. I walk past an empty lazy river. I hear the gurgle of the hot tub. There is a beautiful blue pool with not a soul in it. I take a path down through the dunes. I hear the rustle of sea grass as I make my way. I can see my umbrella and beach chairs not too far away. The waves crash in and out. The sound is soothing to my ears. The sky is so blue and I hear the distant whir of a plane flying across the ocean. There are a few couples and a few men with their gold finders walking up and down the beach. There is quiet beauty all around. My Ocean, My Peace. It is true what they say. Heaven seems just a little closer at the beach.