The Basin

by Michael Ryerson

By this time, I was traveling with the girl and we ended up at the beach, not the sleek, tanned, hard-bodies in skimpy bikinis beach but the other beach, the dead-seabird floating in an oil slick beach, a pungent one room shack in a cluster of pungent one room shacks hard by the cannery and the boats where the working stiffs drank coffee and smoked and lied about the last time they got laid. I don’t remember how we ended up here, probably just seemed like a good idea at the time. They wanted to sell the house on Havilland and I didn’t have shit to work with although a relative owed me some money but you know how that usually works, so I was flat and on the street again and I guess the beach seemed like a good idea. It works that way when you’ve got nothing, nothing gets in the way of your ideas, no vested interest in things going one way or another, once you accept the essential powerlessness as a central part of your life it doesn’t taste so bad. Maybe you’re free, yeah maybe that’s it, you’re free. No sense saying who owed me money, in those days he had a good life and what the fuck is a hand shake agreement worth anyways? You could argue he didn’t owe me a fucking thing, maybe he would make that argument, I don’t know. I just know the unpleasantness I’d have to go through to get close to the money didn’t seem worth it so let him have his good life, I’ve sucked hind tit before and besides I know where this all ends up and I’ve got no beef coming. Guy tells about his life and says he’s not bitter and has no regrets and I say he’s full of shit. If he isn’t bitter about some things that happened in his life I say he wasn’t paying attention and ‘no regrets’? No regrets? You mean to say there aren’t things that you wished could have happened different?

Michael Ryerson