Old man on the pier.

Shinan, China, 2020

Old folks here have pretty rigorous early morning workout routines. Outdoor walking, running, tai chi, aerobic dance moves to kitschy beats, they’ve got it all going on. They’re just a boisterous, chitting-and-chatting, hacking-and-spitting kind of bunch.

This gent was performing an array of kung fuey swishes with a stick on the pier downtown. As he sat down to rest, he fixed me with his steely stare. I flashed back an iron grin. He did not seem impressed.

Overhead, gulls were lamenting the platinum light. My mom, who passed away years ago, used to say that some day she’d return as one, so I always look out for her when I’m wandering the shore. I wished I could join her and fly all the way Home. By the looks of things, I’d have better odds plunging into the ocean and getting the ol’ butterfly stroke going for all eternity, heading south among the jellyfish stings of discarded face masks choking the tide.

But I’d have to get past the crusty old swashbuckler first. If I thought it would have done any good, I’d have taken my chances.

© Jac Kritzinger.
For photography, visit http://jackritzinger.co.za/
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