Young Vaping Man and the Sea

South Jetty. Seven in the morning. I paralleled the rocks toward the river. The sky was gray. Not gun metal or pewter. Gray dammit! The perfect middle between black and white. No nuance or shade of gray. No poet’s gray. The color of this morning’s sky was the truth of life. Why can’t people seem to grasp that obvious black and white truth?

I moved with alacrity in depleted corduroys. I was trying to empty my mind, something so hard to do these days.

I looked up to the Jetty and saw a figure sitting on a rock facing the ocean. He or she was wearing a gun metal or pewter-colored hoodie, a thin designer model, with the hood pulled over the head. (See if you can find him in the photograph.)

Ahh, a poet, I thought, a good gray young poet, probably depressed, up early inhaling inspiration from the churning sea. The figure turned and gave me a profile—a young man. To his left, a fishing pole stood, wedged upright into the rocks. He was fishing with no hands. A moment later he produced a vaping mechanism the length of a piccolo. He inhaled, turned my way, blew out a cloud of smoke. I gave him a thumbs up and he did the same. He played another ditty on the piccolo and turned to away to face the ocean. I kept moving toward the river and trying to empty.

Imagine the poem this young stoned poet would write! I was imagining exactly that prospect and doing a little jig on the beach in anticipatory delight.

A half an hour later, I found a seat in the Jetty and wrote this up facing the ocean.

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