Kevin Carey teaches in the English Department at Salem State University. His fiction won Best of the Net in 2011 and was a finalist for The Million Writers Award in 2012. His co-written screenplay Peter’s Song won Best Screenplay at The New Hampshire Film Festival in 2009. His recent book of poetry isThe One Fifteen to Penn Station, (Cavankerry Press, N.J.) Kevin is also a seventh grade basketball coach in Beverly, Mass and a part time filmmaker. His latest project is a documentary film about New Jersey poet Maria Mazziotti Gillan, called All That Lies Between Us.
From The Beach People
There’s a recipe to beach life: the salt air, the fried food, the sun tan lotion, the traffic, the kids drinking beer on the seawall, the sea gulls picking trash, the girls from the Ave in cut-off jeans, the hot August nights. People living on the beach are a part of a grand design and they know it. Behind the moaning and the groaning and the bitching and the drinking and the hangovers and the fights, they know there is something driving them to do the things they do, a strange serendipity they see in the ocean, in the seasons, in the storms and the waves, in the high and low tides, when the water washes up over the seawall in winter and the sea smoke dances off the icepacks. They see it in the fall when the fog rolls thick and in the summer when the sun burns golden off the still blue glass and they wear sunglasses everywhere they go. If you’re a beach bum you have no choice, because if you ever stared at the ocean and wondered about anything and forgot about time and let the rhythm of the waves crashing do that Zen shit, then you’d know you can’t ever get away from it, not for long, not forever, no matter what else you do, it haunts you and it doesn’t happen in the desert, or in the mountains, or in the plains, not the same way, not for a beach person. It’s in the blood, like the salt is in the water. It’s in the spray and the seaweed and the sand and the first chill of stepping into the icy blue water in April.