salt water taffy. i saw it in the store last night and my heart lurched. the box and the little wax paper wrapped candies in their faded summery colors. the memories of going to the shore. i would go as a child, but the real memories are my trips to the shore as a young woman. going with the boy i loved. holding hands on the boardwalk. eating hot greasy chips and cotton candy. ferris wheels and roller coasters. braids and beads in my hair. buying a flowy skirt to wear out to dinner. playing catch in the sand. a biker bar a few blocks off the beach. for an hour in the afternoon. finding music and jewelry and treasures we loved. kisses in the waves under the stars. and boxes of salt water taffy to take back to reality with us. the reality we both feared. and then saying goodbye. to the ocean. to the boy. to youthful freedom. and here i am 20 years later, remembering it all because of a box of candy.