Flashback by Gary Braver
Homerâ€™s Island, Massachusetts
FROM HIS PERCH ON SKULL ROCK, they looked like pale eggs sunny-side up moving just beneath the waterâ€™s surface. Some kind of jellyfish. Half a dozen, pulsating vigorously through the black surf like muscular parachutes.
Odd. Jack Koryan had spent several summers of his childhood out here and could remember only a few occasions seeing jellyfish in the cove, most of them washed ashore by the night tide-dinner-plate-sized slime bombs with frilly aprons and long fat tentacles. But these creatures were small round globs, translucent jelly bells with nothing visible in trail.
Maybe some tropical species that the warm water brought in, he thought.
Jack watched them pump by in formation, driven by primitive urgings and warm eddies. Somewhere he had read that jellyfish were ninety-five percent waterâ€”creatures with no brains, bones, or blood. What enabled them to react to the world around them was a network of nerves. What a lousy fate, Jack thoughtâ€”to relate to the world only through nerve endings: a life devoid of thought, passion, or memory.
The cool, moist air had picked up, ruffling the waterâ€™s surface. The tide was coming in, and soon the rock would be covered.
It looked just as it had foreverâ€”a domed granite boulder rearing out of the surf about fifty yards offshore, itâ€™s crown whitened by generations of barnacles, the base maned with sea grass, a necklace of shiny black mussels hugging the high-tide line like exotic pearls. When they were kids, he and his cousin George would fill a pail with the mollusks for his Aunt Nancyâ€™s Armenian dishes or bouillabaisse.
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|Epub||May 30, 2020|