Some people believe we create our own futures. I mean, they believe this as if I did not just drive clear around the bay from the nursing home where my mother is dying — where my mother has been dying for three years. Those people, they could look around this oceanside cafe, they could gaze out at the ships and sit back in their creation. And I would love to lean back with them, but I can’t truly say there was ever steel blue water in my dreams as a child. Left alone often, batting rocks behind the tenement on Lowell Street, I can’t say as I caught the winds from Colombia or farther, where I developed a taste for this baba ghanouj and dark coffee. Where I come from we did not have sea gulls circling. We circled, in the night with chalk around buildings. We beat the bricks with our words and cooped pigeons. When we let them go we were certain of their return. The only thing I can think of in my childhood that resembles this slow seaweed and its continuous soughing against the dark wood pilings is my mother’s brandy. How it came out of the cupboard every night, how the night could be rough and endless. And I did have a sense of salt as a child. I think the salt was collecting then in the folds of the robes of the nuns who taught me. It wasn’t a salt you could see, it was a salt you could feel, like the salt in this fog. You could almost hear it settling. Beyond this, I can give no explanation and I can see no other logic. All I can say is yes, I was angry, no, I never really wanted either of us to suffer.