Death Anniversary

Two years ago today I almost died on Jacob Riis Beach.
When Cameron and I arrive the water is furious, half the shore eaten up. With little to no sand to settle on we decide the rocks are a good idea.
Each of us a has a bottle of Merlot from Trader Joe’s.
Earlier we blazed in the backyard of my building.
We felt so safe, languishing in the brilliance of our position.
In retrospect it was idiotic and almost got me killed. Water slapping against craggy rocks is far more dangerous, the tide has a stronger pull.
Idiocy also saved me.
Having the audacity to lay down, only my elbows propping me up.
When the waves crashed in I was skipped like a pebble five feet forward. My elbows preventing my head from cracking like an egg, then preventing me from being sent to sea when the water receded.

A man ran twenty feet, leaving his baby and partner to help me. Cameron just watched, gripping the neck of the wine bottle I purchased for him (he was unemployed and broke).

Between my head cracking and being sent to sea there was a 66% probability of death. I made it. What shook me to the core was that this was the anniversary of my grandmothers death. In 2003 there was a city wide black out. The hospice my grandmother resided in felt it frivolous to turn on their back up generators, all the people were there to die anyways. So the next day she did.

Almost dying instilled in me a deeper reverence for water. So when the waves are incensed you better listen you puny human. A swift reminder that we are at the mercy of nature at all times. There’s just gotta be something keeping it all together for us, because it believes we’re worth consciousness.

Photo: Diztant Dreamer

A Slice Of Utopian Pie

Sally West

With a stoners intensity I hawk the waves crashing in. Settled a dirty blue, on the move a murky green, coming in a stark white. The waves sonorously telling you the mood of the ocean. Reminding you that it has both the strength to nourish and destroy. This is what we are made of. The rest of the world is on the other side.

The beach is magnificent, even if it’s filthy New York City water.

Trust. A thing we have in one another, while we take turns frolicking in the sea. Sometimes never speaking a word. Just being in the same vicinity creates a consensus to look out for each other. I jump the waves knowing no one will steal my belongings.

An old man pulls his thong down, leaving enough cloth to cover his junk, for the sake of an even tan. Cellulite, varicose veins, stretch marks, stomach rolls and more, no one is judged for the skin their in. Collectively we understand that beauty resides in us all, one way or another. This is the beach, let the relentless glare of the sun kiss your flaws before the eyes of others.

Many mini islands in the sand made of makeshift terrain: towels, mats and sheets, sometimes tent forts. We bring the provisions that bring us elation. Nobody complains that the music’s too loud, nobody gets angry at the people smoking marijuana, nobody fumes from the alcohol consumption.

I love the beach, it is a slice of the utopian pie we hope to achieve. Where we accept everyone’s differences, without trying to infringe upon one another. An ideal world.