The Beach Journal (by abandonedstation)
The Beach Journal is a novel that deals with a man who survived...something...somehow (I like keeping things open), and lives in a cave on a nice sandy beach. It has no moral, defies most genres, and is shrouded in ambiguity. Good.
It is a available for purchase - $5 flat - at our page on lulu.com.
Below is a sample. Enjoy.
I ventured through the cave a bit. Itís a bunch of rock. This is so fucking boring.
Bored. Then stared.
Stated out the day positive it was day four, because of the sheer boredom that was the last two days. It was like they merged into one in my mind. Had to really think about going to sleep and getting up in between to remember there was difference. As for today, take a guess at what's going down. Give up? It starts with a 'b'...
I thought about the small house in the city that I grew up in and all those memories that fester and bubble in my mind and how my past seems to be trying to tell me something, how I should I live my life, what itís missing, what has changed. Then I was bored.
Lucky seven. Lucky boring seven.
Thought of my last sexual conquest. Then my foot hurt. Tried sitting in a more comfortable position. Put more weight on my left buttock. Was a rousing success.
Bored. And Iím leaning to my left.
Thought about chocolate cake.
Is there vanilla cake? Iím sure there is, but I donít think I ever had one. Always chocolate. Masturbated. Later I was positive that Iíve seen vanilla cake. Maybe I've even eaten it. If so, it didn't make much of an impression.
Black cat walked in front of my path. I chased it down, caught it, skinned it, sawed it into manageable pieces, cooked it with onions, then didnít eat it Ďcause hey, that would be sick.
Bored. And it smells like rotting cat.
I saw a seagull. I think it was seagull. I donít know shit about birds.
Same seagull. Or not. Maybe itís a different seagull or different bird altogether. It looked like a seagull. I think. Regardless, it looked like the same bird I saw on day sixteen. I ate part of the cat out of curiosity.
Seagull ate the rest of the cat. I watched him. What a hungry bastard. Should probably admit now that I threw up after eating the cat. Is it because the cat was rotten, or does cat just not agree with me? Do the gods love it because it is pious, or is it pious because it is loved by the gods? These are not the same questions. I came up with the first. The second was asked by Socrates to the man whose father killed a slave. Slave arenít people. Neither are cats.
That philosophy course was a waste of time.
This is by far the most uninteresting cave Iíve ever leaned slightly to the left in.
Missed celebrating third week anniversary.
Bored up and down the ying-yang. I mean, yeah, I do stuff like move around, and doodle on the walls, or play elaborate rock throwing games, but itís all drenched in bored.
Thought about chocolate cake again. Didnít think much about vanilla, though. Who does?
I almost stopped paying attention to the cat remains. Then I looked at it and felt kind of bad. I put it in a brown lunch bag then tossed it as far into the cave as I could. My vomit from eating the cat has either dried up or the seagull got to it. Or maybe I just canít remember where it is. I think closing your eyes when you vomit is a reflex, like sneezing, or something.
Today the sun is shining and Iím bored. I never noticed that (Iím) I never noticed the sun has (so) been shining every day Iíve been here (bored).
Today is divisible by one, three, nine, and twenty-seven (go figure on the last one).
Remembered to celebrate four week anniversary. Couldnít find a suitable party hat, so I balanced a rock on my head. Seagull came and looked around. I threw my new, heavy, gray hat at it. I missed and it flew away. Should probably treat my guests better.
If I had booze for last night, Iíd have a hangover now. Instead, Iím bored.
Havenít seen the seagull since the party. Probably still upset over my attempt to kill him with my hat/rock.
Woke up in the night and remembered that the seagull canít possibly be upset. It does not have the mental capacity to be so.
Bored. Fucking seagull.
Red sky this morning. Sailors taking warning. In fact, I think they all left. I canít find them anywhere.
Seagull came back. Maybe heís forgiven me. Or he forgot. Or he doesnít care. I didnít throw a rock at it. Iíve got to build the relationship up before I can get close enough to properly brain him with a rock.
Today can be squared without a remainderÖumÖremaining. After I realized that, I masturbated. The two events were unrelated, though. One did not prompt the other. I donít want anyone to assume I have some weird math fetish.
Bored. Hmm, I havenít been Ďjustí bored for a week.
Bored. Thought about a girl I once knew. Old whats-her-name. She wouldnít let me finish in her mouth. Had a great taste in movies, though.
Saw seagulls (or whatever type of bird Iíve been seeing this whole time) flying above me in formation. They didnít stop by. I waved, but they didnít respond, unless you count their flapping wings as constant waving.
The devil came and tempted me, turning some stones into bread. I didnít fall for it, though. As soon as I eat Ďem theyíll turn back to stone in my stomach. I told him I wasnít born yesterday. He told me that didnít matter, and offered me a city. I told him thanks, but that Iíd probably get too emotionally involved and get an ulcer, or something. He understood. We shared a joint and then he left. Before he did, he showed me a great party trick involving a lighter and the hair on your knuckles (his knuckles, mine have more of a peachfuzzy-vibe going on). It was nice to have someone to talk to.
Although I was never competing with him, and totally ignored the fasting thing, Iíve bested Jesus.
Bored and kind of lonely. I think I was spoiled with the devil coming to visit, and all.
Saw a cat. It ran away. Perhaps it has a gut feeling that Iím not to be trusted with cats.
I had a dream I was drowning. Ridiculous. I can barely see the sea from here. One day I think Iíll go and splash around a bit. But not today. Or tomorrow. No real reason for the delay. Just want to makes some principles for myself. Limits, checks and balances, judicial restraint, etc.
Bored. Too bad I promised myself I wonít go to the sea.
I dreamt again. I was back in a city. Maybe it was the city. It was empty except for all the people I broke promises to. Fortunately, they didnít bring it up. In fact, they didnít even talk to me. They looked at me, though, as I was about to give them some advice. All those admiring, cautious, questioning eyes. I didnít say anything. I was too busy looking for a phone booth so I could flip through the phonebook and find a bakery. Suddenly my urge for chocolate cake was near insatiable. I found a phone booth eventually, but the book inside it was vandalized to the point where it was unrecognizable. As I swore under my breath, a man came and leaned against the phone booth. He looked at me pleadingly. I recognized him as a guy I once met and promised to go see his band play at bar I knew. I never went, which is why he was here. He looked at me and then began to cry. Then I woke up to being bored.
Worried about having a dream tonight. I didnít. Slept like a hat.
Today is what six times eight is. And the age of my least-favorite uncle. He was addicted to valium for awhile, and thatís kind of interesting and all, but I like him the least because of the way he treated my cousin. Always belittling him. Christ, he was only fourteen, you asshole, lighten up.
Bored. No seagull, no party, no nothing. Shouldíve went to the sea.
Saw a cat today. I really should be trying to catalogue what the ones I see look like so I know if theyíre the same one or not when they come back. Other than that, mostly bored. Tossed some rocks at what looked to be a crude caveman drawing on the wall. No sun. Cloudy.
Bored. Wonderfully bored. Just what I expected. No surprises, please.
I donít remember yesterday at all. I just realized it as I was taking a piss. Not that I missed much. Just a bit of the old boredom, apparently.
Crawled out of the cave just a bit. Saw a cat. I think it was the same from a couple days ago. Color was identical, and responded to my call of Ďhey cat!í, just like the last one did. Maybe Ďrespondedí is too strong a word. It looked at me briefly then walked away. Itís all you can really expect from those bastards.
If I see the cat, Iíll name it. I thought all day of a good name, so I was bored in a very different way. I like the name ĎChucklesí. It isnít common, and not at all serious.
No cat. Seagull came. I wonít name that thing, though. I hate it (but I donít let that on to him/her), and probably would just call it Ďfuckerí. As in Ďcome here, fuckerí, or Ďpiss off, fuckerí. If fucker didnít have the reputation of being such a horrible word, I can see people actually liking it. It has a nice roll off the tongue.
Bored. Havenít bored two days back to back for quite awhile. All of a sudden I feel guilty for bringing up the past. I should just let it die peacefully.
Today can only be divided by one and itself. I think. I wonít go to the length of checking up on it, though. Iíll just have to trust myself for once.
Masturbated. Twice. A nice personal celebration of sixty days.
Wondered about the birds. They can fly because they have hollow bones. I bet I can snap a bird like a twig.
A massive flock of birds flew over me. For a couple seconds they blotted out the sun. It was scary and beautiful at the same time. Christ, where the fuck are they all going? Thatís what I really want to know.
Bored. Waited for the birds.
Maybe that seagull has been coming back and Iím not really paying attention. What a fool I would feel like if that was the case. Would it come and look for me? If it thought I had food, it might. Do seagulls eat meat? What a dumb question, of course they do. Remorseless bloodthirsty killers. For some reason, I just pictured a shark eating a seagull. It was no effort at all for the shark. It was more of a tease for it, actually. Like eating only one potato chip.
A couple of birds. I threw a rock at them. Not out of malice or urge to kill them. I knew Iíd miss completely. It was just to see how good my aim is (bad).
No birds. Today I got my kicks.
Today I thought of the past. I couldnít help it. It was so easy. I thought about what it would be like if some things were different years ago. I could only think of a couple ways the world would be different (if there would still be a world), but on a more personal level everything could have changed I took that job, moved there, didnít go camping, ate at that restaurant, all sorts of little stuff that snowballed into big, giant never-would-have-guessed-at-the-time stuff. Not that I am interested in the ramifications of what would be different, but just the difference in and of itself. Then I yelled for the devil. He didnít come.
(Ďin and of itselfí? Who am I kidding with that kind of talk. The useless leftovers of a philosophy courseÖ)
Huh-huh. Sixty nine. And to think I thought I had my sense of humor shot off in a war.
If days were years, Iíd be pretty goddamn old right about now. A couple of birds. Ugly ones.
Rain today. A nice, light shower. Watched it come down for a long time. Went to the cave entrance, cupped my hands and drank a nice fresh glass. Tried to masturbate but couldnít get all the way off. Maybe itís solar powered.
Kept raining until I just started to try and fall asleep. Already having a hard time to get use to silence that Iíve not had for the past two days. Stupid really, Iíve had it for a long time. Silence should be ingrained in me.
The realization that I hadnít talked for what might be an entire week scared the shit out of me. Made it a point to sing some songs to no one, just to remember what I sound like.
I have a lovely falsetto, if I do say so myself.
I dreamt I was walking on a forest path and I stumbled and instead of hitting the ground I kept on falling and falling to the point where I wasnít even scared, just so bored falling through empty space that I hoped I would either hit something eventually and splatter or just wake up. I woke up. I was so hard I couldnít piss for five whole minutes. The rest of the day was uneventful except for a bird that came and hopped around the opening of the cave. It looked at me. I gave it the finger. Then it flew away.
Just for a change of pace, I sure could go for some cat. Mmm, boy.
Forgot the dream I had. Funny that I remember I dreamt, though. Perhaps I am going in insane. Itís bound to happen sometime. All ofÖ thisÖ canít be too healthy.
Masturbated. It was hotter than usual. The temperature, I mean.
I thought about going to the sea today. Then I thought it might be interesting if I didnít go, and used that as an allegory of something like manís impossibility to achieve something or other. Then I remember Virginia Woolfís fucking To the Lighthouse and promised myself, that over hell or high water, I was eventually going to go to the sea.
So what, I say to the birds, so you can fly, big deal.
It rained again. Iím not surprised. Sometimes it rains. This is one of those times. It doesnít surprise me one bit. I watch the rain, trying to be interested, but I just become bored. I stare outside at it, just watching it fall and run over all the rocks, and I think Iíve been doing it for hours, but I bet only a couple minutes have passed. Fucking hell. Iíd rather roll a rock up a hill. Then watch it roll down and crush people in the town below. I probably wouldnít kill many. Most could get out the way, I bet, since it would be hard not to notice a giant rock roaring down main street, destroying cars and cracking the pavement. Iíd probably only get old people/invalid kills, and in the grand scheme of things, theyíre only worth half-points.
ĎThe grand scheme of thingsí. What a phrase. Like Ďbig pictureí. Kind of lame joke now. In the grand scheme of things there is no grand scheme of things.
Still bored. Rocked back and forth a bit.
I decided that from now on Iíll only masturbate about once a week. I want to avoid overkill. Keep it fun and interesting, and all that jizz.
Alone with your thoughts. Bullshit. As long as you have thoughts, youíre never alone. Especially if you canít hear yourself in them. Itís like a whole new person in your head.
Man, I hope I donít go crazy. And the worst part about it is, Iíll never know if I do.
If Iím not insane, then Iím certainly in denial. If Iím not wrong about everything, then Iím right about nothing. If Iím not reaching up to touch the sky, then Iíve got my hand caught in the gutter. If Iím not going to die, then I donít know what Iím going to do when I get old. If Iím not a perfectly preserved specimen, then Iím a warning for what can go wrong. If Iím not having the time of my life, then Iím a piece of entertaining puppet meat on a full stage performing for an empty audience. If Iím not a work of fiction, then where the fuck am I?
Bored. My brain should be tired after yesterday. Maybe my eyesight would go out for a couple hours for some recharge time. Or maybe the part of my brain that does math would shut off for the day. I could deal with that. What am I going to do? Count rocks?
Twice infinity. Impossible. One is enough for me.
It was cloudy. Masturbated. Then I noticed a bird. Thereís probably been many more passing by, I just havenít been paying attention for awhile.
Bored as a stiff.
It was a sunny day. Like usual, I think. I really donít notice very much anymore. Iím spending more and more time with my eyes closed, stuck in another little world. For the brief period when I was here, a bird flew down from god knows where (was it only a few days ago when I last saw one? It feels like forever) and landed on a large rock about twenty feet away from me. It was a seagull. I called at it. I tried to be charming. It didnít look over until I made a clicking noise by dragging my tongue over the roof of my mouth than quickly snapping it down. Such beady fucking little eyes. And a beak that always looks like itís angrily judging you. I pretended I was going to gently throw something at it, something like food, just to see if it would follow my hand. It did. I wasnít sure I was pleased or disappointed. Itís nice to know I can trick a bird, but birds are stupid, making it an empty victory.
One day, something is going to happen. Not today, or the next day either.
I was right. Today was uneventful. Tomorrow something will happen. The best thing about being so vague about Ďsomethingí is that itís so easy to be right. The sun will rise tomorrow. That could be my something. One could argue that the same thing just happened today, but then thatís their something, not mine. Iím the only one that counts. That is, unless Satan comes back and starts to build up a reputation around here, which is entirely possible because I canít win anyone over without promises of bread and cities. Iíd tell him to get off my property, but I donít own any.
I changed my mind. Tomorrow something will definitely happen. Masturbated (that wasnít the Ďsomethingí).
In commemoration of eight times twelve and my promise that something would happen today, today I went to the beach. The walk was longer than I thought, even though I can see the crashing waves from the entrance to the cave. The only problem was that first step onto the couple dozen yards of gravel before the sandy part of the beach. Going barefoot today is pretty shitty, but no one cool wears socks to the beach. I tried to walk on the balls of my feet, like a reverse tiptoe kind of thing. The first thing I noticed coming out of the goddamn cave was the fucking, fucking heat and humidity. The sun is nicer in the cave. Manageable. Tolerable. Just lights things up, not sets them on fire. When I got past the gravel, I think I was actually sweating. And I couldnít look up at the sky because the sun was all over and I lost my sunglasses long, long ago. And just when I thought I was in the clear with the end of gravel, I find that the sand was hot as a match head. I almost preferred the pricks of the gravel on my feet. But then I saw the sea, and stopped caring about third degree burns. I finally looked out in front of me, and it was beautiful because it was different. Thatís all. I mean, I could see the sea from the cave, but now it was right in front of me, stretching forever in what felt like three directions. Waves lazily rolling up the beach and then easing their way back in. I did a kind of mad-dash over the burning (fuck!) sand and stood on the cooler, muddier part of the beach which always gets covered in the surf every couple of seconds. I just stood there and let the waves wash over me, the cool (but not too cold) water rushing over my feet and ankles. I looked over and saw a whole flock of seagulls (Iím so sure thatís what they were) just standing around on the sand. Apparently the heat didnít bother them. Maybe theyíre too stupid. Or they donít have the same type of nervous system as we do. Less sensitive. In some ways thatís good, and some wayís thatís bad. I thought all about this while my feet were constantly being embraced by the waves and the mud around me built up and I started very slowly to sink into the earth. I let myself get up to about my ankle before I stepped out of it. I started walking towards the seagulls, enjoying the light cool breeze that suddenly started up, or that I finally noticed. It was a welcome relief from the constant heat. Or maybe I just pushed the temperature out of my head as I focused on the seagulls. They scuttled away like crabs as I approached, never perturbed enough to break out the wings. I wish I had a pair of tongs. I bet I could snag a couple easily with something like that.
The sounds of the waves up close was much more soothing than what I always heard in the cave, and I found myself being taken farther and farther away while I crouched and did my business. After I pulled up my shorts I shed a tear for the lack of toilet paper and hightailed it back to the cave. No birds followed, and they avoided my shit like the plague (the flies seemed to fall deeply in love with the log, though).
Bored. One hundred is coming. I try not to get excited, but itís hard. One hundred. It just sounds important. Maybe Iíll masturbate twice that day.
I think Iíll go back to the beach on day one hundred. Even though I was there only a couple days ago, I donít think going again so soon will make it any less special. I mean, one hundred is special enough that I should do everything Iíve done so far all over again in one day. Masturbate, catch cats, wear rocks, all that stuff. But no, the beach it is. Maybe Iíll even go swimming. Maybe. Iíve got a fear of jellyfish, and Iím not good enough with geography to be sure that they are not floating out there like an invertebrate balloon army, waiting for me to finally succumb. So thereís that, plus I know for a fact that there are sharks out there. I guess Iíll just have to wade, but even then Iíd feel better about it if I had a harpoon. For day one hundred, I will also make a real effort to kill one of those birds. It shall be a nice feast.
Bored with anticipation.
DAY ONE HUNDRED
I was all prepared to do some hardcore wading in the sea with a pointed stick I found near the gravel as my makeshift harpoon, when something else caught my eye. I donít know why I didnít see it a couple days ago. Maybe the sea was so damn enchanting, or maybe I just didnít walk far enough south (or north).
There was a boat on the beach. A small rowboat. It looked old. There was no interesting food in it, and the one oar looked broken. I would have quickly lost interest and re-focused my attention to the birds but then I spotted a book left in the boat. I picked it up with interest. Perhaps it had something to do with sex. Or cooking. It was neither. It seemed to be an instruction book for emergencies and other irrelevant things. There were many drawings and illustrations, but they were pretty boring and obvious. A splash of colour would have made giving CPR or gathering wood for a fire seem much more interesting than it really is. I saw a film at school once of someone giving someone else CPR. I donít remember if it was real or not. It looked pretty dull, even though the person doing all the work seemed really into it. I remember getting in trouble for writing something on my desk because I was bored while it was playing. I had to write ĎI will pay more attention in classí one hundred times on a piece of paper (actually I needed three pieces of paper). I took the book back to my cave, anyway. It will be nice to sit on something other than rocks for awhile.
By the time I got back I forgot about my promise to try and get some seagulls. I also forgot I was celebrating one hundred days.
|Song worth paying for: Memo From Turner - The Rolling Stones|