The infinite scope of an over-populated beach in a hot, Southern California summer in shrouded with a cold, dark shadow of vacancy and eerie abandonment when the Winter months descend to sterilize the once human-contaminated shoreline.
The hot, giving sun that stays late in the evening, almost like a smiling friend that you would never want to leave. The same bright, personal warmth that makes people enjoy the outdoors, ritualistically dominating the pleasant, moist air, becomes minute and distant. The days get shorter, as if the sun felt like the kingdom he rules over has lost the appreciation for their life giving ruler. The king dismisses himself early in disgust.
The warm ocean, that once gave habitat to board riders, jet skis, and swimmers of all ages, inverts to a frigid froth of swells. This cold wash of polar current is more than adequate to discourage any soul from even setting foot near the frigid tide. Where waves broke smoothly and with great elegance now becomes a large, rugged crash of rough, windswept water. The angry ocean becomes undesirable and unendurable.
The lone sliver that juts out into the sea, the pier nests the remaining few, tenacious fishermen, and their counterparts, the aviaries of the ocean, seagulls. These birds wait alongside their pals, almost arrogantly expecting a scrap of sardine or mackerel to be hurled their way. In the warmer months, rollerblades, beach-cruiser bicycles, and ice cream vendors turned the pier from a plain, concrete, structure into an outcropping finger of life that extended from land to the ocean.
From the summer to the winter, the kaleidoscopic prism of towels, bathing suits, and umbrellas vanish into a blanket of gritty khaki-colored powder with only the krish-krish of footprints left in its salty hide. The children that built the sandcastles that made us stop half-way through our parade down the shore to admire the intricate beauty, are now occupied with science projects, math, and spelling tests.
The sun-bleached, virgin, sand that is left to bask in the barren winter sun squishes between the toes of two, lone occupants as they quickly escape the numbing slurry of roaring, deafening surf that approached. The couple proceed on, holding hands as they disappear, like the warmth and comfort of summer that binds everybody to the beach, dissolves into the horizon.