Sleeping rough, series 3 – Episode 9: Forward

I remember taking refuge in the endlessness of the horizon as it contained and carried all of the seas right to my minds eye. I noticed the infinite variety of greys and greens and taupes as the waters shifted and swirled underneath a dull sky. A grey that continued itself into the curly white sands dancing at high speed over the wet and flat beach. There was blue in the sky but not enough for the water to receive it.
One view with nothing left in or out. My eyes did not focus on anything. They did not look. They just cried with the wind and sand. I am not sure any more they even saw.

I remember taking refuge in the one sound that was made up of many. Waves braking and rushing onto the sandy shore, seagulls shrieking, cars passing by on the Boulevard behind me, a dog barking, wind breaking in the hollow of my ear, the shattering of my teeth. One sound with many tones. My ears did not focus on anything. They did not listen. I am not sure they even heard.

I remember taking refuge in the smells of life and death that breathed in and out of my nostrils. The smell of salt water, of tiny sea creatures rotting on the shore, of seaweed drying and decaying amidst empty shells and wet sand. The smell of tar that laid in lumps along the shore, warming up in the first sun light. A smell so familiar and yet always new and fresh. My nostrils did not respond. They did not smell at the smells. They just dripped responding to the cold of the sea air. I’m not even sure there was any smell at all.

I remember taking refuge in the taste of salt water. Salt water in the wind. Salt water that was blown across the sandy beach some dozens of yards. There was salt on my lips I would taste if I licked them. There was salt in the air I breathed. There was salt on my skin, on my shirt, on the knees of my trousers as I rested my face there. The salt of the earth. My mouth ran dry. My tongue never understood the taste. It just tasted until there was no salt left to taste any more.

I remember taking refuge in the sensation of the sands scrubbing, shaving and scratching my skin where it was exposed to the air and the winds. The itchy build up in my scalp. My clothes tucking at my body. Tucking, pulling, slapping where the clothes were loose with the wind and swept up sands. The temperature change as there was some sunlight coming from behind where there was just shade earlier. And then changing again as clouds covered the rising sun. Spray breaking free from the wave tops out at sea, brought in another temperature change which I would feel happening in my lungs. The salt and sand slightly burning into one sensation. No cold, no warmth. My skin went numb. Feeling was left behind.


I got up from where I had been sitting for hours. I slowly moved towards the waterline now retreating with the tide going out again. The waves soon handled my feet a little into the wet sand. I looked and saw the process of sinking into the earth.

I walked onto dry land a bit. There I took off my jacket. I carefully folded it and laid it down, placed it where it was dry and clean. With my hands I swept off the sand that I accidentally kicked up. I unbuttoned my blouse. One button at the time. My back to the wind. It was rather difficult to fold it into a nice looking item, but I managed to do so. I put it on top of the jacket. Then I stepped out of my trousers. I folded it, pulled at the seams so it would be straight, and folded it three times into a nice and flat square. I put it on top of the blouse. Then I took off my panties. I looked at it. They were filthy and had holes to them. They would be of no use to any one. I tossed it away with the wind. It fell a bit further up the beach, but not very far. I looked at it for a while. You could never tell they were panties. Then I turned around, facing the sea.

I walked. The water was there. The wind was all. Standing in the water, the sands did not reach my skin any more, which was a pleasant change. My feet were painful. Bruised and wounded. The cold, cold salt in the water soothed them quickly into a comfortable numbness.


I counted waves passing my knees.

Then I walked forward. There was no other way to go but forward.


To be continued …

Whole story


About Jikai

Living a life of blessed less where my feet support my walk and my hands create my story. View all posts by Jikai

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