|When I was young and having troubles in my life, my father would push up his glasses and say “Listen to the sound of the shell, It will guide you.” He was always very positive. He would explain that the ocean was a part of us. He would say “We are not fire on the mountain; we are rain on a summer day.” Still to this day I remember his love for the ocean and everything that had to do with our town.
My Father had a great amount of pride in the Cape. He never missed anything that was supporting the town. His favorite event though, was what we townies call Beach Bazooka. Everyone would set up huts on the beach and would offer peculiar services. Some people would sell things, but it would be all natural, save the planet kind of stuff. Most outsiders would say the event was run by “hippies.” I can see where they got the idea though. I never went to one without seeing painted faces and long hair.
As I grew older, my friends began to envy the fact that my father took me with him everywhere. I noticed that none of their Fathers spent as much time with them. When I questioned my Father why that was, he explained by telling me about the Beast. He pushed up his glasses and said “There is a Beast from water and a Beast from air. For us ocean people, we have the Beast from water. He comes and takes people who are ready to go to another world. People call him the Beast because some people do not want to go to the next world. They get mean and start to call names, but it is actually a nice angel who comes from the water to help guide us. Very soon that angel will come guide me.”
My father died a month after that conversation from brain cancer. I didn’t care what my Father told me, I hated that Beast. He took the best Father that everyone would have wished for. I had grown up in one day; I no longer had that sweet child’s innocence. I learned how life truly was. While all the other kids my age were playing and seeing a beautiful day, I was sitting on a curb seeing shadows and tall trees hovering over me, ready to hide me from the rest of the world.
I was very quiet after the death of my Father. At his funeral I just nodded at everyone’s condolences and wished that this day was over. Somehow I summoned enough courage to put a shell on his coffin before the burying. A gift for the darkness I thought. My Father would have liked that. I could almost hear him say “A view to a death can be changed into something happy and new. I now have a piece of the ocean that will stay with me forever.”
Such little things like the shell and the glasses can bring back such strong feelings. Years after and I still feel the way I did on that day of the funeral. I don’t know if it was the feeling of needing a companionship or the fact that I had time to waste, but I suddenly found myself pulling onto Castle Rock to go to the cemetery. As I was staring down at his grave I thought, Humans are like hunters. All trying to kill the beast so they won’t have to move on to the next life. If you listen really hard, you can hear the cry of the hunters.