Rip Tide

Squinting with eyes swollen and corner sludge the sunlight pierced the windshield. White reflection, a green hue colored my washed out skin as I drove on. The Day People about me, sharp, chattering and in a hurry, passed on the left.

I let the window down, the air in and exhaled my newly lit smoke. The coffee warm between my legs, the music an acoustic jam floated out of the speakers from an east end radio station. The embrace of the day slowly wrapping itself around me.

If you can not take joy from the struggle there is no point in going on. Everyone seemed to be going about their business. The highway flowed with work trucks and cars in the commuter lane as I turned my blinker on and headed for the shore. There seemed no point in looking for a job today. The water was calling.

I stopped at Seven Eleven for a few cold Poland Springs, checked my tackle and gear in the trunk and put my water shoes on. Back on the road I thought about my conversation with my cousin the night before confirming that I have not gone about life the wrong way, that there was still hope for me. I could not play along, ultimately I would not play along. There is no sense in struggling against a rip tide.

Seasoned and salted I have managed this way of life for 44 years. Today would be no different. The water from the bottle, washing away the whiskey from the bottle the night before. My ingrained hope a secular faith started whispering to me. It always works out in the end.

Unafraid of the light I walked into the towering daylight without sunscreen or companionship. I threaded my way through the crowd of people until the beach opened up and few souls could be found. I reached into my old canvas surf bag, pulled out my clam knife and opened up a mussel that washed ashore.

With bleary eyed optimism I launched the bait into the open water and watched the wake echo across the surface. I sat back and relaxed in defiance of everything that was wrong with me.

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