Sitting Under the Pier

Jan 16, 2014 by


We’d like to introduce new contributor, Emily Auman.  Emily will also be a part of the short story collection being released this year from 67 Press.  We’re excited to have her as a part of the 67 Family!

Emily Auman is a 21-year-old whose greatest pastimes almost exclusively invovle alcohol and poorly-written television shows from the early 90s.  She resides in the foothills of North Carolina and firmly believes the term “foothills” is a weird one.

I always sit under the pier. Those overly-commercialized beaches with resorts lining the shore so you can’t actually see the entire beach filled with people just dying to stand on the pier. In fact, these consumers are so excited about standing on the pier they actually pay money to stand on the pier. I sit under the pier. I guess that makes me different, not special, just different. I didn’t always come to these beaches. When I was young, we went to beaches that were quiet and only had a few restaurants and the air always smelled like salt instead of suntan lotion and the ocean was clear enough to see my feet instead of too crowded to check. That was before my family fell apart, now we stay at the popular beaches because, surprisingly enough, they are less expensive. Entropy, things fall apart, I learned that in my freshman biology class at community college. It’s a place for middle aged women who want to find a purpose and people like me, misfits. I’m starting to learn that while biologically entropy is a commonplace theme, it is mentally too. At this one beach, there’s a Ferris wheel that spins and spins even if there’s no one on it. It’s always scared me, so I stop looking at it and sit under the pier.

No one else is ever under the pier, which is strange to me because it’s more fascinating than anywhere else on the beach. Of course, maybe it’s more fascinating because there’s no one under it to ruin it. I think people like being on top of the pier because they like looking down and feeling superior to the things that would normally scare them, like the sharks in the water or the people they don’t understand, the people who sit under the pier. I remember one time when I was a child, before my family entropy, when my dad took me onto the pier and I was on top of it. I looked down and thought how much bigger the ocean looked but how much bigger I felt, and I felt greater than everything else. I think people like that feeling, I don’t.

All my favorite books are about unhappy rich people. I think it’s because unhappy rich people are always learning the things I already know like how the wheel keeps spinning even when there isn’t anyone on it and how sitting below the pier is more beautiful than being on top of it. I already know all this and I can laugh at the mistakes the characters make because I know better, and I guess that’s my version of standing on the pier, looking down at what frightens me.


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