A pink balloon bounced alongside me as I was walking on the boardwalk on the beach that morning. “It’s much cooler than yesterday”, I remember thinking I quickened my pace to get my steps in before the heat descended- oppressive and un-wielding. Then I see an EMT officer, two cops, and two men in grey suits standing by a huge piece of driftwood down by the water. One then bends over an orange body bag. In the background a white swan floated by. About 15 feet away a woman is doing a yoga pose as behind her a cop frantically scribbles notes in a pad. One of the grey-suited men takes out a measuring tape and measures something in the sand. This is like a silent movie playing before me and suddenly I hear a the thrum of a helicopter overhead, ( because apparently that’s what happens when someone washes up to shore.) I am not an expert at these scenarios but this is the second dead body I’ve seen since moving to the beach four years ago. People stop and gawk, surmising what has happened. Suicide? Or one of the homeless people who sleep here at night? Did the body drift downstream from east of Scarborough? Some people make some rather ridiculous guesses and then continue walking, talking about what they were speaking about before they stumbled onto this scene. As this is unfolding all I can think of is who can I tell this to you? I text two people and tell my son what happened! “Aw thanks, Mom Couldn’t you have waited till 9 am. to give me more bad news?” I keep walking and think even though this is not my tragedy it’s makes me think I shouldn’t have to work after seeing something like this Also maybe I could eat extra carbs, which is my reaction to all things like this. Where are the chips? As I debate what to do with the rest of day the yoga woman is now on one foot doing a Karate kid pose. Later in the day she will teach a class mindfulness and as the body gets carried off the beach, the pink balloon bounces along, following a safe distance behind me. ( wrote this May 26/20)

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