There’s a seven foot, desiccating shark on the beach. Ben thinks it’s either a Thresher or a Baskin. I wanted it to be a Mako. We’ve been watching it flatten. It smelled rank yesterday, and we set up our umbrella far away.
I think the most enduring memory of the beach is my childhood. The best times were spent when we didn’t speak at all. In August, dragging an old-fashioned, webbed chaise lounge and blanket to the safety of the dunes, we’d gather to watch the Perseids.
Whenever I am at the beach I pay attention to the sky. Here it is immense and beautiful. There are long stretches of National Park between the hamlets that dot the island. It is sixteen miles to the grocery store. Even in populated areas there is open space. There is a large swath of green in the center of this development and it supports wildlife of all sorts. I can hear the birds and the surf. There are no air conditioners as it is cooler than usual for this time of year. For once, I am happy that I brought jeans. We can see the ocean and sound; sunrise and sunset from the top deck.
Today is day four. We have settled into reading, fishing, drawing and silence. There is no reason to blather on when you are busy processing the experience. I think there is deeper communication when it’s quiet. I’m no longer a child, but I feel the same at any beach, in any good company. This will be a pleasant memory. Sometimes we see shooting stars in May on Hatteras.
I sat in my little chair to draw the rotting behemoth. I am out of practice. I didn’t want to sit too close. Its skin was falling into interesting wrinkles where the flesh was eaten away. I watched the Ghost Crabs and Coffin Flies busy at their task. Somebody has come along and pulled out the teeth. Maybe today I can sit a bit closer.