I slide into the sand a mile off Oregon Inlet. Without thinking much beyond a dull, fatalistic anger, I peel off my my skirt and get out to walk. It feels routine now, paddle, walk, paddle, walk.
The first day it happened, I saw a stingray caught in an inch of water by the low tide. It flapped and splashed, but couldn’t move. The wind blew little waves across its back and it twisted in the sand looking like all the frustration I felt.
“You and me both, buddy,” I screamed. “You and me both.”
I walked past it a few hundred yards, then stopped, grabbed my paddle, and walked back. I scooped it up between the blades like I had a giant-sized set of chopsticks and walked to deeper water.
It squirmed out and splashed upside down for a moment, flipped over, then glided away into the sound. I watched it, sighed, and went back to pulling the boat.
That was five days ago and I’m still searching for that deeper pool. Paddle, walk, paddle, walk.
“You and me both,” I say to myself. “You and me both.”