I sit atop the South Jetty, on a massive black rock. The rock is angled in such a way that it affords a perfect view of Saddle Mountain, Tillamook Head and one of my forts, the one where a couple of days ago, I read a fort message written by a 28-year-old man who was battling testicular cancer. Part of his battle strategy was to visit the ocean as much as possible and take in its unique curing powers. His message seemed that he was winning and it had nothing to do with chemotherapy.
Below me, a woman lets her dog run wild down the beach. Also, below me, a man builds a driftwood fort, a corral model, and it occurs to me that this is the first time I’ve ever seen a person build a fort who I hadn’t brought along. I watch him work and he constructs with intensity. He brought a shovel, too; he’s burying posts deep. Not my style but all styles are welcome.
It’s 63 degrees and 95 in Portland.
I wonder if I am the only man in the world at this moment wearing corduroys atop a jetty.
The tide is coming in. I watch the mathematics of the waves. I wish I’d had a math teacher who taught math through the ocean’s waves. The experience might have changed my life. I have written a short story about a young woman who discovers the beauty and order of the mathematics of waves and it unleashes something primal in her, as the ocean often does to people, in so many different ways. I wonder if I’ll ever see this story published. If it is, I will use a pseudonym and I’m working on that now. I think it may even be a female name. So far Amity (something) is in the lead.