Monday, September 22, 2008

The Summer's End

The water is warm and the night is wet.

Couples trickle along the beach Sunday, flirting with each other and kicking at the sand. A woman with a cigarette and sunglasses hanging from her mouth skims the surface of the shore with a metal detector, stopping every so often to pick up a little treasure. Or maybe trash.

The pier is slightly less busy than a usual night just after sunset. Electricity lights up the sky as the sun falls farther past the horizon.

A young boy runs toward the water, a white cast net in tow.

Seth Barrios’ 8-year-old upper body twists all the way around as his feet dig into the sand. As if on a spring, he twirls and flings the net out into the water in front of him.

“Go all the way out to your waist” yells his mother, Jo Foster, as she and her boyfriend, Justin Maschue, embrace on the south side of the pier and watch her two sons play.

Seth is quiet. He diligently continues with the net, holding one end of the rope in his mouth as he straightens out the webbing. He raises his lanky arms to pull it out of the water.

“When is it going to be my turn?” Josiah Barrios pleads. Seth’s 7-year-old brother occupies his time playing a game of tag with the water that laps at the sand.

Josiah screams with glee as he outruns the shallow waves that move closer to his feet. Then, he turns around to chase them down as they head back out to sea.

In the 20 minutes he spends in the water, Seth is unconcerned that all he has caught is one large sand flea.

“Seth, it’s time to go,” says Foster for the fourth time. He doesn’t hear her, or chooses not to. The summer is coming to an end and he is determined to make every moment last a little longer.

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