The beach is sandy and wide, and surrounded by cliffs carved by the rain and the waves and the tide. They are made of soft rock that turns into the sand which becomes the beach. The beach is carried out to the ocean by the rain and the waves and the tide and becomes something rock solid. To get there you take a road up a mountain. From the top you see a freeway, a river running in two directions, a prophecy come true. You walk down footpaths eroded into steep valleys. Watch you don't twist your ankle in your wedge foam heels. Steep rusting stairs groan under the strain of the sun. The hot sand sears itself into your treads as you leave your temporary traces on the beach. It is broken up by cool echoing caves, carved into aortas that you enter for distribution along its tan length.
We walk down from the top of the cliffs carrying our beers, umbrellas, sunhats, towels, flip flops, true crime novels, radios, lotions, creams, popcorn, soda, DSLR cameras with telephoto lens, cell phones, telescopes, prescription medication, frappuchinos in branded glass travel cups, fast fashion hoodies, car keys, USB cables, sunglasses, e-readers, hand-crafted shoes from local and imported materials, credit cards, loyalty cards, spare change, single-origin iced coffee, pomegranate serum, collagen face masks, coolers, tiny dogs, yoga mats, apricots, raw milk cheddar, tincture, hamburgers, hot dogs, hibachis, lighter fluid, dragon fruit, kettle chips, sparkling lemonade with chia seeds, mushrooms, LED light bulbs, Bluetooth speakers, water shoes, Ikat pillows, individually wrapped rice crackers, individually wrapped condoms, personal servings of Greek yogurt, sport socks and goggles.
A handful of pellets, translucent white, tossed into the waves. They bob at the surface, emergent behaviour. Some scatter on the sand and are picked up again before being thrown back to be ground down into the mass of sand. Some are lifted away to the deep ocean to join the gyre. There they form the future desert of a new continent, inhabited by novel organisms. This unseen desert where we will all pitch our tents, a dry flat pan illuminated in the moonlight like a vast and glittering sea. In this Atlantis our bread is baked from azodicarbonamide, and wholesome children greet the day with enriched smiles. On feast days, delicacies come wrapped in diethylhexyl adipate before they are lowered on to the flaming altar. The people gather and celebrate as the portions are divided.
Mercury, cadmium, arsenic, diluted in gasoline. The ethanol (10%) is sourced from corn. Shake it up in a glass bottle, pop the lightning stopper, and stand in the waves up to your knees. As you pour it out the fluid hangs in a slick cloud, a mass in the surf. Bring out a mason jar of dispersant. Pour it out against the small rocks where the waves eddy and carry the slick over anemones and starfish. A million shimmering droplets shine like black stars and sink in the sea with the detached arms of asteroidia as the waves roll out.
Walk back to a spot on the beach shaded by the cliffs from the hot high sun. Spread cocoa butter, petrolatum, phosphorous and zinc over your skin, scented with essential oils of datura, notes of sulfur. Wade into the ocean up past your hips. Bob up and down with the waves. Piss out a stream of estrogen and progestogen, hydroxybupropion and lorazepam glucuronide, cortisol and epinephrine. Feel the water get warm and the cool again as you bob up and down with the waves.
Hold your breath and dip your head underwater. Come up for air with the salt taste of copper sulfate on your lips, streaming down from your hair to sting your eyes. The horizon is wide and stretches on into as close to infinity as can be found on Earth. Turn back to look towards the shore and up past the cliffs. The hydrologically-enhanced, hybrid smell of cis-3-Hexenal is obliterated by a haze from the smoke of eight billion tires, smouldering underground seams of floppy disks and iPods, drywall cigarettes, a bonfire and bonefire, AYCE BBQ. The haze blows over the hills and out to the sea to become the big blue sky over the horizon.
Turn back and face the sea. Altogether, slit your wrists on your dominant hand. The blood drips out, enriching the waters with the most common element on Earth. Pale pink cloud diffusing into the sunset as the osmolarity equalizes. The iron bonds with hemoglobin and carbon and triggers a fusion reaction, precursor nucleotides scattering across the universe. A crab scuttles up the beach, blue blood draining from a hole in its heart. The radiation from Japan is coming, any day now, we've been expecting it for 60 years.
Bond your wounds with antibiotic super glue and pack up your things. Throw the rinds and empties and wrappers and refuse and rejects on the sand to be ground down and washed up. The tide has come in strong to fill the caves all the way up to your armpits. The sea demands a final tribute, what are you willing to sacrifice? The little dog can't swim. Throw the umbrella out to join the other jellyfish. Swallow your cellphone, pin your keys to your nipple, wrap your towel around your head and tie your shoes around your neck. Wade into the narrow passage and emerge oxygenated at the place where you started your journey. From the top the sinking sun blesses everything before it with its love and its anger, free radicals bouncing back and forth to form the mutations that bear the traces of your memory. Within the cool breeze of the air conditioner in the jet that carries you away, you hear the rumbles of the ancients who left you nothing but the traces of their basic elements on which you built the future.