The summer I collected seaweed was the longest summer of my life. I was living and working by the ocean in South Kingstown Rhode Island and on weekends I would walk along the shore, collecting seaweed in a Hefty trash bag. I had lines of rope hanging across my apartment and I draped the seaweed over the ropes. I left the windows open. Along with the seaweed, I began to collect flies. You should’ve seen them, hundreds of them sucking on all those drying strands of kelp. The smell. It was like having the ocean right there beside my bed. The flies got annoying after a while and eventually my neighbors began to complain about the smell. The buzzing of the flies spoke to me in the middle of the night like radio waves tripping off my fillings (tooth decay is the bane of my existence). The language of the flies was transmitted in a long staccato drone. Zzzzt...zzzzt...zzzzt... The buzzes amounted to endless Zen questions, “.............?”
The answers came in abrupt buzzes:
The flies led to cryptically silent maggots, of course, and they squirmed even more fundamental questions. There they were, scattered on the floor like rice after a wedding, uttering the unutterable.
I continued to collect and drape seaweed until September when I abruptly stopped.