In honor of it being abnormally hot out for late-September, I’m going to post something quick I wrote over the summer while sitting on the beach. They were originally written in one giant paragraph, but I’m going to break it up where I see fit.
Jones Beach, Field 6
I’m sitting on Jones Beach at Field 6 wishing I was in Hawaii. Castaway by Zac Brown Band is playing on my portable speaker in the background. A helicopter periodically zooms down the beach looking for God-knows-what. No one’s drowning, and we’re not expecting an invasion any time soon.
When I first sat down, I laughed at the lifeguards putting the colored flags in front of a woman who looked liked like she was here specifically to enjoy the view. Only now do I realize, as a sparrow lands in front of me, that I parked myself right behind a trash can. If I had a practical excuse for sitting here, I’d give it, but I don’t, and I’m not a liar.
Is the trash can a metaphor for my life? It has big holes in the sides so small items can escape. Am I a not well-made trash can? The writer in me begs me to tell you, “Yes, it’s a metaphor,” but it’s honestly not. I have everything I need. Except for that trip to Hawaii. I don’t really understand the fascination of overpriced hotels, endless traffic, and expensive, exported goods, but I know my imagination would run wild with the tall mountains, jungles, volcanos in the distance, and pristine beaches.
As I look to my right and left, I notice more and more people are starting to show up and plop down in the sand. It’s the perfect day, despite sitting in front of a trash can or having a flag placed in front of you. It’s the kind of day that makes it all forgivable. The sun is hot, but the breeze brings the life back in me, along with the smell of the ocean — not the smell that accustomed Long Island beach-goers known and joke about. Even the color of the water isn’t the typical puke-green and filled with seaweed.
I might as well be in Hawaii. Today is one of those days where I can see where the articles online are right about Jones Beach being one of the best beaches in the country. These days don’t happen often; I’m extremely lucky to live so close to such a hidden-in-plain-sight gem.