The King of Manibus Beach
The memories I carry are soft and hazy, prone to a sweetness distilled in indulgent manipulation.
As a child I treaded softly upon the sand. I felt the burn of the sun on my nose for just a moment before the piercing cry of seagulls diverted my attention. Arms outstretched I sought to claim their bountiful loot. I punctuated the air with my presence, arms flailing through the salty air. Soon enough it was mine. Discarded plastics, crushed cans, and colorful bits of previous life. My mother had chastised the indignity of the mess, for it had sullied our beautiful beach.
Years later I returned to Manibus beach with my friends. As we rumbled down the road we sipped sweet cola and made great use of my parents’ new car equipped with a radio. Ahead lay the littered dunes and behind, our stretching line of exhaust. One hand on the hot wheel, I chucked the bottle into the wind. This granted me levity and a handful of chuckles. At the beach I swiped the hair and sweat from my eyes as the sun beat down with increasing ferocity. The sea was too choked with litter to swim anyways.
Now I cannot help but wedge deep imprints wherever I go. They say the hairspray destroyed the ozone, and the car I aspired towards created the dark smog over my city. But I was too busy, too ignorant, too powerless…too callous to the degree of my harm. I made the easy choices and accepted my shoddy rationale.
I have inherited Manibus beach and become king of a wasteland. Soon it will be yours, my heir.