Lighthouse Roses

I climbed to the top of the abandoned lighthouse, grunting at the final burst of exertion and swinging my leg over the side of the railing. My friend climbed wordlessly behind me, following where I’d placed my feet and hands. Not out of any sense of sycophantic loyalty, of course – they were simply the best places to maintain a grip. 

The sun was beginning to set over the water, as we stopped to silently catch our breath. It had been such a spur of the moment decision, climbing this derelict and crumbling tower. It had been left to rot by the town after a bigger lighthouse had been built further down the coast. More powerful and better positioned, it had made the one I was currently straddling immediately obsolete. Tearing it down would have cost money, however, so they’d merely looted it for everything worthwhile  – massive glass lens included – and abandoned it to become a true-life tutorial for how to grow climbing roses.

(A few of the buggers had stuck me on my way up, and I was still a bit sore about it.)

My companion had dutifully tagged along, without request or objection from me. Now that was sycophantic, if I’m being honest – but in a gentle sort of way. A way that felt comforting, not cloying.

I enjoyed their muteness too. Most people would have been going on and on about the beauty of the sunset and the flowers, or pulling out their phone to find the best place to buy seeds online. Most people were exhausting.

But not them. They enjoyed the sunset in silence, shivered against the growing night’s chill without complaint. It was refreshing. I went to say something, to share my insight on the nature of silence and companionship, but quickly caught myself in the hypocrisy of such a statement. No, I thought. No need to spoil such a thing with flippant observation. Far better to simply… exist.

And so exist we did, as the last of the sun dipped below the water and was lost for another day.