Friday, May 15, 2009

Day 369

part l

i've done it. i'm at the coast.

sand. birds. wind. sun. rock. cannon beach.

i've exchanged spring air for the may brine and my lungs are full.

andy calls this 'the edge of america.' he's right.

the ocean.

three of us came out for the day. two went back and now i'm here, pack and pad and pen, for a day or two and alone. i'm sitting on a log with my legal pad this very moment. i just told a man from canada that i don't have weed after he'd sat down and made small talk before popping the question. do i look like someone who carries that? actually don't answer that. but i don't and never have.

my first goal is to find a place to sleep. i started talking to shop workers and they've directed me to mike at the surf shop. apparently he's friends with some cops and knows what's up. mike tells me of a safe place away from patrol that's a far walk and i thank him and leave the shop. a man at a coffee shop across the street gives me a few burlap coffee bean sacks on request (for tonight's pillow and also for danielle's business) and tells me that cops patrol the beach with a spotlight from a truck. "maybe twice a night. just don't pop up when you see the lights flashing," he warns before adding a 'good luck.'

you know that patch of tall beach foliage that always seems to border the last steps of the boardwalk and just before the sandy short grass grows? i found a tunnel in it and it leads back. deep. after clearing enough of a patch for my tarp and sleeping bag i pop back out for more writing and the sunset.

goal number two is debrief. not speak. read. listen and write. be quiet. smell the brine. watch birds and people. i make notes on this yellow pad for you. i'm here to reflect and collect the past year. will be home soon. i have much to tell and i'm trying to get it all in order.

the sun is starting to dip behind haystack rock. i walk the sand and take about a hundred sunset pictures. the golden sun and smashing waves and giant rock and flocking birds are a straight scene from 'into the wild.'

i retreat to the hidden patch just after sunset at nine fifteen p.m. and settle down but hear people coming. teenage girls giggle about discovering a tunnel and i quietly joke that i can barely outsmart a thirteen year old girl as i throw leaves over the pack and scurry deeper. i hope no one actually finds me cause this is my only bedding for the night. the waves' roar cover the sound of snapping twigs. no one ever comes in all the way.

full darkness after ten. cold comes creeping up from sand and through the bush. i have my sleeping bag on tarp with a burlap coffee sack as a pillow. i watch mice scurry acrosss the overhanging branches of this hidden catherdral and i weight out the biggest threats to the night: people, dogs, mice, snakes, and moths, but soon decide that the moths are fine. i find much inner peace and contentment as the tarp contours with the dirt and i warm in my sleeping bag and settle into a blue and salty night sleep.

tomorrow i'll wake on the ocean.

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