Fort Ukulele

I walked along a remote beach toward a driftwood fort that I had constructed over a period of weeks some months ago. It was sturdy, built in the dunes above the tidal fray, and it had withstood storms and 70 mile-hour gusts. It would last all spring, summer and fall and delight those who got off the grid and found this secret beach and its geological wonders.

I reached the fort, the sun was going down, and I looked up at my creation.

There was a man sitting outside the fort on one of the support logs! He was strumming a ukulele and it wasn’t a toy store model, but the real deal.

I hailed a hello. He said he was waiting for a friend who was walking on the beach. He was here to rest. A few days ago he had nearly died in a hospital from a heart condition, but miracle drugs resuscitated him, and here he was strumming a ukulele in front of my fort! I asked if he would compose a song about driftwood forts. He said he would. I’d probably never hear it, but that didn’t matter because I knew I had just commissioned the first song in the history of world music about driftwood forts written on ukulele!

I said goodbye and he went to work. I heard a couple chords and then the ocean drowned out that sound as I continued on my way.