The bay.


Sometime you may find yourself, improbably, at the southernmost reaches of New Jersey, perhaps on assignment at one of the state prisons. Then you might leave the gates and the wires and the big metal doors behind and pick up a mediocre gas station sandwich on your lunch break and drive just a few miles further to where the land gives way to the water, and the air is crisp and cold as shit and has that saline bite, like seltzer, and there are no signs of life except the reeds and the gulls and the picked-over exoskeletons of small crabs that they left behind. But then you’ll walk a little further down the path among the crooked pines and see a cardinal, then a bluejay, and yet more dead crabs, and you will lose yourself for just a bit before you remember, shit, I’ve got a long fucking drive, and you amble back in your beat-up hatchback toward the Turnpike.