The beach sits quietly–praying to the god of sand that the bonfires the teenagers will light won’t spread out of control–absorbing the last of the late afternoon sun and preparing itself for the cold that comes with moonlight and rising tide.
The sun, happy to be escaping from the boisterous commotion and already regretting that it will have to get up tomorrow, sinks quickly behind the horizon and throws a mix of delightful colors that unbeknownst to most can enter those tiny holes that we call eyes and trigger a chain reaction of chemicals not unlike hitting the reset button on a computer. It may even be the same sort of thing that happens when one who is addicted to caffeine experiences when they walk by a small coffee shop and the aromas filter into their body through the tiny holes that we call a nose. Teenagers, and I hate to keep referring to them as if they are some species I am not, but I was one and you have been one or maybe you are one and so we can all nod our heads in agreement that they really are a different species. A species that does not always notice the sunset and so most of them have missed this particular one but not, of course, our boy. For there he is, sitting on a rotting log of driftwood, it is interesting to note that he could easily write a poem inspired by the driftwood he is sitting on because he very much feels the same as his bench does, a piece of organic material thrown into a world of ups and downs, waiting for some sort of purpose to be dropped down from above so as to give meaning and reason for all the ups and downs that it has experienced in its short life. He is human driftwood sitting on real wooden driftwood and he has no idea that together they are sharing the same thoughts.
For a time at least, because it does not take long after the sun disappears completely that the boy’s thoughts begin to wander from being about his purpose in life to thinking there is none to be found to thinking about really not wanting to live a life without a purpose. This is not the first time such an idea has come into his head and eventually it will take up considerably larger portions of his existence. It is a virus, this thought, it floats around in his head bumping into other thoughts and tainting them with itself. But he does not know it is a virus, he thinks it is the will of his own nature, his own being, and thinking that he can only let it do whatever it wants to him.
The driftwood, though, just wants to get back into the ocean, just wants to feel the cold water lifting and tossing it, just wants to be anywhere but here, on this beach with this weird squirming thing sitting on it.