Shadows shorten. Diminutive dunes dimple the coastline. Along the horizon, waves undulate to form a healthy EKG. Something vaguely gynecological lies in the scent of the stranded kelp leaves. Your average luau-attendee would find the weather here brisk.
I am standing one tide-recessed foot east of the Pacific, staring into the distant eyes of a curious and probably imaginary Japanese man whose day, to date, consists of rising into a tranquil dawn, tottering out to his rice paddy, and performing a near-masturbatory to-and-fro with a garden hoe. In my fantasy, he squints across the sea searching for some salutation. We converse.
“Message bottles never arrive when I’m here.”
“Perhaps it is you who are lost.”
“I come for the possibilities, the vast expanse this oceanic metaphor implies.”
“Yes, you Americans are always searching for something.”
“Peace is a weighty word when dropped from a plane.”
“But too, when dropped from a plane, the burden of revenge is lighter.”
Scavenging pelicans avoid levitating ocean foam. I hoist and hurl a bottle seaward. A starfish appears on the shore. The sun descends.
“I’m sending you a head’s up.”
“We Japanese are a humble people, living with our heads down.”
“Then you will see my bottle wash upon your shore.”
“The glass dreams of a desperate soul.”
The waves flatten. Footprints now lie where water once was. In the distance, the ocean draws back. The starfish appears dehydrated.
“You’re kind of a dick!”
“And yet I am a part of you, only thousands of miles away.”
“So this is all in my head?”
“Isn’t everything you think about?”
“How do I know when something is not real?”
“More importantly, how do you know when something is real? Man is a fraudulent beast.”
“You repress the truth – the words you wish to speak, the things you feel, the angst that comes along with knowing you are repressing these things.”
“To what end?”
“To your own end, my friend.”
Shadows lengthen.. A soft wind presents. Atop the growing whitecaps, my bottle heads west. The starfish is dying from the inside out. The feeling is familiar.