That beach air rolling across the streets of a silenced beach town gets me every time. It smells like salt and hints at fish markets, both at different times but all at once. They take turns invading my nostrils.
The sun had set a few hours earlier and lovers had seen it over the sound, silhouetting boats at wooden docks for the night. They will set sail the following morning for the Bahamas or The Keys or some place like those, casting a shadow of mystery as to the next little community they would see. Wherever it was, the sand would be everywhere, men would fill dirt-floored watering holes and everything would bathe in the salt, like the fog of optimism that it is. That is what it is to them, at least.
I had missed the sunset that day and my lover had not been around. My horse rode through the place without a friend while my mind was set on other things; the shale scentlessness of the salt was not one of them.
On top of this cloud and above the rest, I am not affected by the insanity below. Everyone but me is happy with this madness. The world is better from up here than it is down there, in the thick of things, where trees give way to unbarked wood, arrogance came from pride, prejudice evolved from consideration; a war zone is what’s left of a once-proud nation. I’d best keep my distance, don’t want to get too close.
Or the whole thing may swallow me whole.