I spent half of my childhood on this pier, it seems.
Just this past summer, the entire concrete walkway was torn up violently, replaced with colorful bricks meant to help revive this run-down town. But no one really visits the pier anymore, unless they can afford fishing gear.
That fact alone says more about this "run-down town" than you can even imagine.
We arrive probably a week after the bricks were put in, and venture out into the woods on the side, right before the mile-long walkway extending into the lake, right near a deep drop into the waters. You couldn't tell by standing back here though; Giant boulders line the faraway beach with menacing cracks that probably swallowed up a little kid at some point. They smile at us, water spitting between their teeth in a soft spray, saying "Shh" like there was some secret hidden in there.
Leo and I keep walking. He grabs my hand gently and I stop near an old tree. I remember this tree: it was the very one my dad told my sister and me to pee behind when we spent long days out here.
My piss tree is bigger now.
Leo takes off his goofy sunglasses, much too large for his face, and sits on a log opposite the tree. "So what is it you wanted to tell me?"
I smile. "Just wait."
An especially tall wave explodes against the rocks just ten feet behind us, sending a fan of droplets over us, showering the trees and the scraggly dirt path. Leo smiles too, his eyes squinting up at me, with patches of branch-broken sunlight scattered across his expression. I loved his smile, how it seemed to touch everything around him.