The Other Beach

Tim; early December, 1988

I had this dream on our way, stopped for the night in Emma, our home-on-wheels, while driving down from Idaho to California.

Frances and I were walking along the beach at night: the sand, the breeze, the ocean waves, the whole bit. We walked along and came upon a card table set up on the beach, with a guy standing behind it, tending some items on it. There was a little light shining, so we approached the table and saw that this fellow was selling fishing poles. He had a lot of oddball varieties. Suddenly I said, “Frances, you’ve been wanting a fishing pole!” She said, “Yeah!” She was excited about going fishing because we had been in New York, and we caught fish in the Susquehanna River near Binghamton. She said, “Let’s see what he has. I wanted a long one, so I can really cast it out a long way.” I looked and there was one pole that was quite long, attached to a wooden gun stock. You could really get a long snap on it, and the trigger was the reel release. It looked really good, but it had a price of about a hundred and fifty bucks and so we said No, let’s not. The guy was disappointed about that; he really wanted to sell it to us, and no other one looked interesting.  Our attitude immediately changed: we weren’t going buy a fishing pole and that was real bad news to him. He said, “Well I’m just going go to the beach then.” So we watched as he started walking up into a little woods, which became thicker as you went away from the water. 


We watched and Frances said, “What? There’s a beach up that way?” I said, “Hey, let’s go check out that beach too, I want to see where’s he’s going.” We followed him up as the bushes and trees got thicker. Eventually we saw him at two posts with a colored nylon rope slung between them. A sleeping bag, orange and black, hung vertically, with the zipper open. It was so dense, it seemed like the edge of this world. He leaped lightly over the little rope fence, pulled open the sleeping bag and walked through it. I said, “Let’s go see.” Frances agreed, “Vee go!” So we went up to the rope, stepped over it and peeked through. It was another beach! We stepped through the sleeping bag door and went through. It closed behind us. Shhoooo – yellow and black streaked like fast moving horizontal rain coming from the side, almost hard enough to hurt. Wind, torrents of water, a much more violent beach that the one before. And it was all dark, except for the light of these yellow raindrops flashing by. Then we saw him walking up ahead, bent into the wind, persevering.


We decided we had gone far enough, turned to walk back – and I woke up.

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