I remember nothing.
It is early morning and I am wrapped in the cradle of the lapping waves and the woodland surrounding the beach. Tracks lead from clearing in the bush, pushed back by what I can only assume is my own frame. I don’t remember pushing through them. I don’t remember the night before or who I was I was when I came here so determined.
The smell of the water is the first sense I have as my eyes open to face the side of a fallen tree, my fists clenching firmly packed sand. I slept next to the side of a single piece of driftwood, it’s shape slashing diagonally across from last tufts of grass near the rise of the woodland to the constant motion of the waterline. The waterline is moving slowly and uncertainly as it pulls out, its rhythm too gentle to be the open ocean. I seem to have such basic understandings of things. But I have no idea where they came from, what this place is or how I came to be in the clothes I wear. I remember nothing.
The clothes I see on me are ragged, tattered in all likelihood from whatever brought me to this strange sheltering place. Black dress pants. Long sleeve shirt. An old beige coat with rippled stretchable fabric at the wrists and waist. The coat is torn in a single slit on the left elbow.
Standing up and discovering the soreness in my legs and that left elbow I walk to the waterline. My sand filled black dress shoes reach the hissing sunbaked edge of the tide.
I knee down, peering into the shifting light of cold water. I manage a reflection between the shimmer of the sunlight and twists of hair-like kelp.
I learn little. I notice a hint of blue and look down to see a blue metal nametag that says “Charlie”. I’m in my mid thirties somewhere. My hair is rumpled, unkempt and chestnut. I see nothing else that would set me apart from another man at this age. I’m unshaved and my name is Charlie. Or that is what the tag says.
Looking into my reflection the sound of the helicopter blades grows until the ripples of waves are static across the view.
(Started playing around with this idea as a morning writing exercise. I don’t know if I will keep up the odd present tense but I like the idea of someone who has to start things over from zero like this. Let me know any constructive ideas. Cheers!