photo: Sunday Fictioneer, Al
“There goes another one,” grandfather grumbled.
I barely heard him as I chugged along the beach. There was so much to distract: sea glass; silver dollars; polished rocks. Grandfather was not a dreamer, a dawdler. Practical, strong, opinionated. Don’t know why he tolerated me tagging along on his daily walk along the beach.
“Look out there, girl,” he said, his binoculars heavy in my hands. “That’s what’ll kill the sea, girl. Kill it sure as the herring run.”
As I focused the lens, a large ship, drawing deep water, with steel skeletons on deck, appeared on the wavy horizon .
“Why,?” I asked, my voice quavering a bit. I rarely spoke on our walks despite a head full of questions. Grandfather’s conversations were often very rough around the edges. The sadness in his eyes emboldened me; I’d never seen emotion on his face.
“Because, girl, folks kill all that swims with drift nets, factory freezer trawlers, dumping garbage. But worst are those oil rigs. One slip, ocean’s a graveyard.” I felt I was watching the end. Of a way of life. Of life itself.
As we headed back along the beach, Grandfather took my hand, another rarity. “Want to learn a song, girl,” he softly spoke.