Published December 18, 2014, The Island Moon Weekly, Issue 557.
I’d just stepped outside of my vehicle and onto the beach of Port Aransas to breathe in some saltier air, squiggle my toes in the sand and think about life. Will this island village be my home or, is this merely a stopping point? Suddenly, attention was drawn to a laughing sea-gull slumped over a wooden bollard, spewing obscenities out of its mouth like a drunken pirate. It turned its head toward me, blinked its eyes and, spoke. “AHOY! Just so you know, I’ll never take vengeance on the likes of YA. But, remember this…we’ll never forget, for nothing lasts forever and tomorrows another day!
With a blank stare, I leaned against an adjoining pole, fearful to move, scared to breathe. Was this the early stage of something more serious like, mental illness? I probably shouldn’t mention this to anyone; after all, people already think I’m a nutty writer! So then, does this sea-bird have an agenda?
“AVAST, names Henry, I’ve been drinking grog for two days straight, don’t YA know. HA! Found a container on the beach YA see. ARRR, follow me, I want to show you something! “Sliding haphazardly down the bollard like most drunken sea gulls would do, Henry staggered toward the water’s edge, “Come on and get a move on YA, time is running out!”
Waddling behind the drunken bird, I found myself in the midst of a very strange and surreal situation and acting on an order from a talking sea-gull! Could this be another wacked out adventure piece, I thought; was I losing my mind or…could this possibly be, the beginning of the end?
Henry crouched down on the sand and motioned for me to sit. The feathers on his head moved with the wind as he looked out towards the vast water in front of us. “Beauty has value YA know and…once it’s lost is difficult to regain.”
“But Henry, I’m simply a…lost and confused writer, what is it you seek? And, why are you so drunk? ”
The wise gull peered deep into my eyes. And, with the tip of his wing resting upon the bottom of his beak, as if in deep thought, spewed out drunkenness, “Bilge! The flock had informed me there’s a writer on the island that cares; I’ve waited for your arrival to write about things most people do not want to talk about! Hell yes, I was born with the ability to speak to people. I’ve been chosen to lead the southern flock, YA know. Many humans are caring and kind like you but, you see my new writer friend…many of your people live without respect for authority, moral standards and have little awareness of the real world. For those uncaring people who think there is no such thing as doing something that doesn’t matter, they may not know it matters and maybe, don’t care. Maybe, some people can’t even imagine how it matters, but it does! Look around you; the aftermath of irresponsibility and disrespect, garbage is everywhere! It’s on the beach; it’s in the water, on the streets and in front of our quaint little shops on our lovely island! The flock and our marine friends do not understand the difference between eating manmade garbage and food that they can safely digest! I’ve been alone on this quest to help but it’s gotten the best of me and honestly, I’m drinking heavily whenever it’s available because it’s the only way I can cope. But today, AHH…it’s a new day and I’m counting on people like you, caring people, that can help make a difference and spread the word for change!”
Henry then bowed his head and slowly moved some sand around with one claw, in deep thought. He stared into my eyes, one lone teardrop dripping down my face; and, in that moment of pure clarity, both writer and beast were on the same level.
While, staring at the falling sun, Henry waved goodbye and flew away; I began recounting my own selfishness and concluded that man and all of his progress can indeed live with the beast without destroying the precious world we all live. But, it will take believing in something greater than us to remove one of America’s “Darkest Secrets,” self-righteousness; and, we must educate our people, that learning the difference between right and wrong starts with love when we are young. And that, money isn’t the root of evil, greed is. For, the beauty in our world is not a right; it’s a privilege and never can there be an excuse warranting stripping that beauty of value away from our young, from the old, from those that are weak, vulnerable and from future generations to come.
Quotes from Socrates, Courtesy of Riley P. Dog, publisher…
“The mind is rightly called beauty because she does the works which we recognize and speak of as the beautiful?”
“Beauty is the bait which with delight allures man to enlarge his kind.”
“I know nothing except the fact of my ignorance.”