Whale Creek Info
The road, down by the bay, used to flood every day when the tide was high; after the hurricane, it was perpetually underwater. Now they've raised it three feet and it doesn't flood unless it rains. The drains in the middle of the field hold all of the runoff; they absorb the water, they spit it back up. Across the park, over in the lot, there's still the white painted outline of a crime scene and candles lit every night for the most recent dead boy. They reinstalled the police cameras, and they flash every time something spooks past their motion sensor.
I have a good memory but this place has a better one. I could spew off specific dates, or I could take you down to the beach and show you how it knows, how it keeps track better than I ever could. I am so small, and this swatch of land feels impossibly big. Look, here - where the pool used to be, where I scraped my knees. Look, here - the hurricane took out the hockey rink and the dunes and the road. Look here, and here, and here. And here. And I am spinning around, I am trying to show you everything I can within eyesight but also here, behind this tree, and here, down the road - look - look - look, can't you understand, do you see how the sky slips into gray from pink to purple to blue, do you see how the water comes up to swallow you whole?
There is something to be said about the earth, how it holds tightly to whatever you give it. The same goes for this part right here, this tiny spot where New Jersey's waist gets tight. The water swells at the same time every day, and recedes, leaving a jagged line on the sand. It is always coming and it is always going.
2015 - 2016