on the pier
the fog was always my favourite, sun shine penetrating barely. I'd always wake up as early as I could and walk down the to sea with a camera. You'd be surprised the faces you see making your way down there. The ever present left overs of last nights festivities, walking home shoulders slumped stilettos in hand. The could've should've would've, well at least I got to know her better kinda guys. I'd always pace out ciggarettes, smoking or trying when I could see the ocean swell. This particular morning was the tail end of October, and didn't we all just know it, the schools had broken up and town was filled with holiday makers.
A milk cart made it's way up the hill past infinite terrace housing, stopping occasionally as the driver scrambled out. I'd seen him a hundred times at least, red faced and over worked delivering orange juice and full fat milk. I'd always make some smart comment when I passed him although today I didn't bother, twenty meters or so away I raised my camera and took a photo. Recently I'd seen a friend, down from London who'd recently completed his masters in photography and well what can I say? I'm easily influenced. I made my way down through town, past Georgian architecture and the neon lights of B&Bs;, reaching in deep I pulled out my last ciggarette, ******* hard with shut eyes by the the zebra crossing. Normally I'd have to pay to enter the pier although, at this time there was no one to make me pay. The fog was unrelenting and only allowed vision fifteen meters or so into the distance, I should've been nervous. Common sense dictated with my injury I should've spent the whole time staring over my shoulder although, I found solace in my status as a stranger in town. Two years or two hundred for me at least this could never be home, running to the inevitable end of my tab, I hurled it into the grey salt sea. In the distance a lamp shone at the very end of the pier, it slowly drifted further and further into my field of vision until I was at the old black railings at the end.
Untill my dying day, I'll never be sure precisely what compelled me to stare so sullen into the waves. There's a certain allure to the ever lapping waves of the English Channel, I can't remember precisely which although it's rare I feel compelled as I did that day. My temporary fixation flirted with obsession, seemingly for no reason until it drifted into view. At first I denied it, it couldn't be rational thought dictated it never would be. Not in a nice seaside town such as this, whoever would the body of another be floating and at this time. I must confess I was not particularly shaken as the body floated ever closer, and underneath the pier. My only regret is that I did not take a picture of the deceased, my thinking was that there was no way anyone would chastise me for not reporting it to the proper authorities, and besides it looked so peaceful. Pulled and pushed by unseen forces a suitable representation of the life we all lead I can only suppose. Face down with a a mane of long black hair, atop stocky shoulders and a well built frame. Like some old roman soldier I suppose, with a puffer jacket and blue jeans the archetypical person essentially. Immediately my imagination compelled me with images of this poor soul thrown overboard somewhere or maybe dumped? probably dumped either way now he was at peace, a drift beyond the shingle in the morning air.
Breathing a deep signs heavy with the realisation that I too would be lucky to inspire someone so much in death as he had, I left the pier and returned home.