coastline charlie

i’ma livin’ legend dall, and i ain’t afraid t tell ya, he said with vigour and pride through long teeth behind thin lips under a white moustache, in a permanent smile, none of which moved as he spoke. he reclined back into a bench that overlooked new jersey’s barnegat bay, shrouded in grey, folded his arms across his big, round belly and stretched out his legs. ya knaw, i reinvenned maself faw times. ya can’t be afraid to do that in yaw life.

he told me all the ways he’s changed.

i nodded my head in absolute agreement, knowing how much i’ve changed and do change, time and time and time again.

so traavellin huh… what’re ya searchin to find? he was really opening it all up now.

he stood, pushed himself up, his hands on his knees, and moved slowly, determinedly, towards the water. he bent over and pulled on a yellow rope and drew up a crab trap. nothing but ribs [yes ribs] for bait occupied the space, he laughed. jahnny didn have any chicken faw us tday. he lifted the cage to my face then threw it back into barnegat bay.

today i met this man, coastline charlie, with his wispy, grey hair, specs that made his eyes goggle and a jersey accent that’ll last for years in my memory.