On the Ocean

Posted on February 14, 2011 by


Seaside holiday towns during the off-season are some of my favourite places to be. They feel fragile, abandoned — delicate structures built large to accommodate the huge number of tourists that come during the summer but trying not to collapse under their own weight in colder months.

In this town, as in most, townspeople don’t like tourists. Tourists are an unpleasant necessity. They are grateful to have business in winter of course, but don’t think that makes you special. It just means you can see their worry.

The town itself is post-apocalyptic: in the older districts, it feels like the human race has gently collapsed, leaving behind grainy brickwork and storm drains clogged with leaves; in new areas, it’s almost as though clean, modern apartment buildings came to exist on their own, or perhaps we all suddenly vanished without a word — whatever the case, a ready-to-inhabit Utopia of glass and stone, metal and sea grass.

It is good, crazy, fertile ground for a selfish writer.

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