Frankenstein, Laguna Beach, and Dusk by Joe Kapitan

June 6, 2011 Comments Off on Frankenstein, Laguna Beach, and Dusk by Joe Kapitan

From the deserted guard stand, the setting sun is the bald head of an overweight suburbanite, red-faced from struggling, about to go under for the final time. Frankenstein drops his Ray-Bans down onto the tip of his nose so he can drink it in. Fuck you, he thinks out loud, to no-one and everyone, serves you right for going out so far, so stupid, like that kid of yours. Your lost boy, stumbling over sunbathers, crying like a pussy, and I go help him find your obese, sunburned ass in the crowd. Remember? And then you start with the “Get the hell away from him, freak”? I should know better by now. I should just sit back and watch, like this here. So relax, fat man, take a big mouthful. Go ahead. Serves you right.

He stalks the upper reaches of the beach, between the dune ridge and the access road, scanning the parked cars for any sign of movement. When he finds one, away from the wash of the streetlights, he sits in the dune grass just below it, stitched forehead resting on the front bumper, and listens. The teenagers inside are going at it, all mouths and hands and clumsy pullings at stubborn undergarments, but it’s not about skin to him. In fact, it’s not a visual thing at all, it’s the sounds. Those sounds – to be so moist and vulnerable, to trust someone wrist-deep, a fistful of your entrails in their trembling fingers.

Near the waterline lies the sandcastle that the tourist family made, and the stomped, gaping hole in its battlements courtesy of the local surfpunks. It’s a brutal, foolish assemblage of remnants – seashells, driftwood, empty soda cans. He lays on his back, his body in the opening, head right where the coppertoned children swarmed hours before. The evening tide finds the breach, and the cool surf spills into the keep, to neck-bolt-high, then retreats laden with sand, but the kiss of erosion is lost against his deadened nerves. Nearby, in shallow tidal pools, silvered fish writhe, gasping, pointless. Frankenstein imagines for a moment that the rising moon is the pale head of the fat drowned suburbanite, bent on revenge, ready to drag him down to the depths and dismantle his unholy frame part by putrid part, but he knows better, and the moment passes. Frankenstein is well aware that God hates him too much to ever let that happen.

© 2011 Joe Kapitan

Joe Kapitan wanders northern Ohio. He works often, writes sometimes, is published occasionally in places like elimae, Smokelong Quarterly, PANK, Emprise Review and Annalemma.

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