Twin Rocks is the place I go to gaze at the horizon, to walk barefoot for miles, to get sand in my clothes from beach-yoga.
On Saturday the 10th, I was walking alone on the beach. For quad strengthening, I’ve taken up backwards-walking. I’d inspect my intended route at the surfline, making sure there were no dead crabs, and then walk backwards for sixty paces or so, before checking again.
That’s how I found the glasses. I stepped on them, walking backwards, where the Pacific meets land.
Maybe someone’s glasses fell out of a pocket while walking their dog.
Those are bifocals. Bifocals are worn. Bifocals don’t live in pockets.
Remember the Coast Guard helicopters circling Twin Rocks yesterday? They were looking for someone.
I plucked them from the sand. For twenty-five years I’ve worn corrective lenses. Glasses are intimate, personal.
What if these belong to the missing person?
Back at my room, before a deputy was dispatched for reports and retrieval, I checked Coast Guard updates.
62-year-old fisherman missing from Nehalem Bay, his twelve-foot boat found capsized two miles offshore.
I asked to be notified if the glasses were linked to the missing fisherman. I just wanted to know. After a week, I called the Tillamook Sheriff to follow up.
They told me that the frames match, but the prescription was slightly off.
Was it an old pair of glasses in his fishing box, maybe?
There was not a definitive identification linking the glasses to the man whose obituary haunts me. His wife couldn’t say for sure they were his, I was told.
For me, knowing whether or not those glasses belonged to the man lost at sea is not the point. Yes, I’d rather know, but I will probably never know. The question lingers, trailing off, like a whistle in the wind.
Intimate artifacts remain, after we are gone. We are leaving breadcrumbs for others to find, to consider, to mull over.
Yesterday was the two-year anniversary marking my grandfather’s death. The things he left behind remain with me.
Life may be fleeting, but it persists.