A little more than a year ago, we moved across the street from Pinkeye Beach. Seriously, it’s beautiful, and it’s smells all wonderful salt and wet and thick on my face, and I love driving on the highway next to the water, and there’s red tail hawk that hunts from the tree across from our kitchen window sometimes, so majestic, and the campfires smell so wonderful (until someone starts smoking something that smells more like plastic and tar and 151), but really, that water will get you sick.
Never mind that the ocean is nature’s toilet. Never mind that there is always a dead sea lion on the beach (that’s why the dogs always start running as soon as they are off leash–they’re looking for that sweet rotting sea lion). Never mind that there are a million other dead things there; that’s why Pinkeye Beach is covered in crows and pigeons. Kick the bulb of the bull whip kelp and a million flies pour out of it like it’s a corpse’s eyeball.
Never mind all that: there are floaters in the water. You see them every time you go there. The treatment plant is right at the end of Sloat Boulevard. That’s grody. Don’t go in there. At least get a hep-B series first.
Our apartment is one floor up, over the garages, and goes through the building, but it isn’t a railroad, I don’t think. My desk is by the dunes side (we’d have to be on the upper floor to have a view of the beach proper). My boyfriend has the street side. At night, when we eat and watch our stories (y’all, I am just now learning how fucking great Prison Break is. I can’t understand how I slept on this shit for so long), and at night, that’s when this magic happens. A ghost rolls under the windows.
For months and months, we didn’t see it, just heard it. It went too fast to be walking, and too slow to be driving, and too quiet to be on a skateboard. So it had to either be a) disembodied, or b) on a bike. The weird thing: always blasting 1980s hiphop, like Grandmaster Flash, Sugarhill Gang, Kool Moe Dee, and almost always the same ones, like he had a Time Life collection of Greatest Hits CDs, or an 8-track.
It didn’t help that the ghost was fleet of foot. Every time we heard him, we looked, but ghosts get, well, ghost. He was always gone.
Finally: a man rolled by when we were by the window for no reason on a BMX bike, blasting some LL Cool J. He looked young, but it was from far away. Maybe he got hit by the train? Or a car? Maybe he has a message from the 1980s to share with us? A message of peace and freedom through rapping? I can say that hearing Kool Moe Dee and other old school beats made me happy as hell.
Since we saw him once, we see him often. He very much seems male. He is always alone. He is always with music. We can’t tell if other people can see him or not. I want to know his story, since the ones I write for people and ghosts are certainly wrong.
(This is the song I always want the DJ to play, but I think requesting shit from the DJ is rude. I want the ghost to play it, too, but I think requesting shit from a ghost is pointless and rude.)