In the evening Henry took me to the Avenue of the Flags, a breakwater walkway lined with flagpoles that shields the docked yachts from the fury of the sea. Bands of Mexican teens in their Pro Clubs and baggy shorts and backwards caps roamed about on their BMX bikes and families were seated at the sunbleached plastic tables outside the harbor restaurants and on the breakwater itself immigrant children crawled and caught crabs on the barnacled rocks that lined the inner edge of the walkway while their elder siblings and parents and aunts and uncles stood above them with Spanish ballads playing from portable radios and fishing poles angled above the still water. As we tread the walkway the waves would crash against the outer barrier and leap above the concrete wall and land in splatters on the already drenched pavement, and we received the force of the spray a few times on our journey across. We reached the steel crow’s nest on the far side that housed an electric beacon but the smell of brine and the thick rust on the ladder and the threats of federal prosecution dissuaded us from climbing it. We then walked back and saw a few white teens in brightly colored baseball caps and Hawaiian shirts and swim trunks greet each other (a gesture, reciprocated contact, “not in real life!” from the initiator) and then got back in the car and drove back along the shoreline, the remains of the sunset a bright line beside us.
Saturday, June 6, 2020