Do You Remember?

I remember when we heard the serpent hiss. We huddled together to keep warm. Bottles clutched in white knuckles, alcohol on our misty breath. We waited between one world and the next, fearful yet accepting, lethargic yet thrilled. Who were those boys? I forget. For me it was always just the two of us and our big adventure at the seaside. Talking about art and philosophy as the sun closed its eye and departed beyond the water.
You know I loved you then. Or perhaps you never realised. I was a little older, but you were always far more savvy. I lived in my imagination, but the tendrils of your cynicism tickled me. I watched you. I played at being you until I realised that I was me and we separated.
Do you remember the snake? I’m sure we ate apples that night, in the dark, with their fermented, acidic flesh in our stomachs, making us giggle. Supping cider, a West Country brew, we sat together, West of Eden, drinking and listening to the snake get closer and closer.
We freaked out. Do you recall? The grass beneath us damp in sharp contrast to the dry grass-smoke in our lungs, we were somewhere west of reality that night, I think, as the hissing grew closer and we huddled, protecting each other.
Did you fear the snake? I know I did. Did you also giggle with relief when it finally identified itself? I remember my foolish realisation that we were not being hunted. Yet I recall a hollow sense of disappointment. The magic fled and we were left there, on a cold putting green beside the beach among sprinklers, wetting grass for tourists, hissing playfully.

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