It was just past dawn and I was near the end of a six-mile walk down the beach. My mind drifted to the gull with the broken wing I’d passed. He struggled to evade me and I gave him wide berth. Death is always omnipresent near the ocean, but so is life, all life for that matter. I thanked the gull for what gulls do for me on beaches. They are my friends.
I approached the sandy cliffs and looked for new carvings of sweet horny math or statements of existential being.
But something else captured my attention, something I had never seen in my 22 years and thousands of miles of rambling down Oregon’s socialist beaches: almost 40 feet up the cliff, someone was sleeping under a flower-print blanket in one of the caves hollowed out by the daredevil kids or meth miscreants.
I did a double take. It was impossible that someone could find their way up the cliff, even more impossible that he or she carried a blanket there, and then even double more impossible that he or she was asleep inside a cave overlooking the ocean on a weekday morning in October 2019.
Who was this person? What was his or her story? What is happening in my state and country where people are spending the night in caves? This is the story I want to write, but I couldn’t very well yell out “HELLO!” from down below and awaken the cavedweller.
Or could I?
I didn’t. It was early and I imagined an exhausted person after a night of extreme distress. Let the ocean wake her up. She somehow made it down here and found the cave. There was something to that, and I wanted to know that story, too.
An idea for a book or some kid of publication is beginning to form in my mind, about these people of the New American Diaspora. In fact, that might be the title.