The Documented Coast

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Memoir  |  House: Booksie Classic
This past summer I vacationed to the beach, with my new love for daily journal entries, and from that week I comprised what I would consider the written form of how I came to feel in the new setting and its energies. Very much a memoir.

Submitted: March 20, 2015

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Submitted: March 20, 2015



The Documented Coast


I. Departed

It breaks my heart knowing I have to leave her behind. Each good-bye song I sing is glowing with abandonment, and several times tonight my eyes met her's and I could have sobbed on sight. It hurts, as if I see no one else is caring for her quite like I do. What would our lives be together without the stigmas of modern existence, I wonder? Wipe clean the issue of money and the minor loathings of self, the crushing weight of the dreams accumulated over a lifetime and yet to be achieved – take that all away, give us those whom we care about and need to conceive a future self, and set her and I together to walk as the waves of the sea crest over toes and ankles. Life consumes us with jaws and teeth that never tire.


II. Pattern Deprived

My sleep and wake schedule has become so obscured by this trip. My portion of the driving duties, though relatively short lived, began just as my body would ordinarily be settling into its calmest, least roused state. Afterward, able to relax in a back seat free of duties, I enter and depart and reenter consciousness in short bursts for a few hours, until our breakfast stop comes at about four in the morning, giving me a charge of caffeine and calories that keep my consciousness unwavered. Even upon arrival, up through now, I have begun to lose my faculties; my hold on the chain of events. Sporadic phases of sleep and the moments it layers and overlaps calls to question my clarity of time, images and emotions that have come and gone. I feel liberated to fall out of touch with a more calculated schedule of rest. Losing track of what day has ended and which has began and what moments of recent memory tie into which date or time; the faulty hold on the chronological acts as an unshackling of my senses. And throughout much of this time, and upon our sobbing departure, I thought of how I missed her. Standing at the edge of land against the ocean really brings on strong contemplation of size and worth in relativity to all that surrounds us. Standing at the edge of geography.


III. Written in the Sunrise

Yesterday's wrestling of waves, that draining effect of bronzing skin, left me reeling. I sat on the closed-in porch as the screen between the boards sunk in and out like lungs filling and deflating to the pressure of the sea breeze. The clove and Indonesian spices make for a smoke that sits much smoother next to shore than it would anywhere further inland and closer to home. And this morning I wake feeling the antagonizing ache of yesterday – still able to hear the choppy white waters across the street like a beckon call for an encore of my greatest attempts against nature, the pugilist. Long sleeves and vibrant shorts across the way to the water and waiting for the sun to peek up over the horizon just beyond its already awe inspiring strokes of pink, yellow and orange. Planks of wood wash ashore, and I take a quiet second to consider a cause akin to shipwreck and travesty at the deepest point in the water, where only the bedlam of waves are visible in any direction. Just as the sun is about to rise and give vibrancy to the already gentle blend of color, seven birds fly between me and the sky, sailing into the indefinite and across that very furthest point on the crest of sea like calligraphy in midair. If I could step through their signature and toward the universe that rests on the other side of this immaculate scene, I wonder if I would eventually end up right back where I stand.


IV. Structure

The house rocks

and sways on

its stilted framework

as if provoked by

some phantom shove.

This fevered itch I bear -

Sacrifice of standing

too close to the sun.

Each day this

is a recovery.


V. King Overcast

I feel like we could be in

for quite a storm.

The heavy cloud cover and

thick humidity stir a cauldron

of who knows what.

I could use a day of

thunder, lightning

and heavy rain.

It is those moments of

torrential downpour

that do the soul some good,

tender cleansing.

Too much sun -

its giving and

its sustenance.


VI. Away

And her hair is the sun over ripples of waves, some five hundred miles away she lies and cries in my bed, adoring our voices and laughs as we reel from exposure to sun. The sand, even, its bronze look against the backdrop of homes and sky, is her skin a half day of travel away. Yet her touch is a memory intangible unlike the stinging, sandy wind that blows from a seascape away.


VII. I Roam Upright Along the Beaches

The smell of sea-death is in the air as I wade along the shoreline in search of those few beautifully intact shells that litter the undertow. I'm choosy as I sort through the remnants, particular about what will make the cut – no time for the partially shattered or inadequately shaped. In the endless characteristics of these fossils that churn in the white waters and murky sands, I know what I'm after. The means, not the end, as I contemplate a necklace, or even the possibility that I may accidentally leave them behind in my curious stupor for some other nameless wanderer to stumble upon, maybe generations beyond my own, to stow away as a keepsake or an exchange of pleasantries to come. I wonder, as I claw at the shallow water sands with my hands, my feet splayed out before me like the claws of some crab hybrid, how long I would have to retain this contorted use of my limbs before others may join in on this search for the beauty sifting through the shallows. Generations of offspring may begin to take on these traits, this altered use of structure, evolving into a means with no definite end. We'd claw and scramble along the shore in search of the endless possibilities held in each shell infinitely replacing the last, as unique as a face or snowflake, wondering what it could have been like when our once unfit ancestors roamed upright along the beaches in search of whatever may have been.


VIII. Swallowed by Setting

Firefighters sit with feet propped high in the the driveway of their station, dusk only a handful of minutes from gracing the coast. Protectors of an entire set of homes away from homes and periodic escapes from whatever binding ties of reality transcend the masses in their three, four, five, six bedroom spaces, freshwater pools, and kitchens equipped and ready for feasting. Leaving the market across the street from the luxurious scene almost seems solemn. Could they really be trusted to protect this entire scope of land if a tragedy were to spark? Envisioned. The meekest of flames allows itself to be taunted by that constant wind rolling against the shore and pushed against the outer wall of one of these sea-side vacation spots. That same wind that taunts then fuels the tiny flame across the surface of the home, maybe inhabited for the week, and the towels and bathing suits lining the rail of the deck ignite. Ashes begin floating up from the burning fabric and drifting haphazardly through the air glowing a deep orange against the dark tones of the sky, its sun already set. Debris lifts from the core of the carnage and takes hold of the same breeze, spreading across the oceanfront and toward other vulnerable, wooden structures. Houses all along the way begin to catch fire, burning at millions of dollars per second. A paradise in flames. But it will always be there, whether in charred remains or expanded tenfold. It's the setting that nurtures, not the props. Maybe one day that inferno does sweep over this place and wipe it clean of the human touch. Then this documented coast would exist with me alone, and with it I could return. I could sit upon its beaches like wastelands, alone, and allow the waves to consume what is theirs.

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