I fall awake in the middle of the night to hear the sea. Your breathing confirms the presence of your body, but your mind is wandering where I cannot go. Soon I’ll be sleeping again, so I must take mental notes on what I know to be true.

There’s no water nor beach, only cars on a motorway. It’s the A8 (“Autobahn 8”) from somewhere to somewhere. Aeons ago, there was an ocean here. A local museum contains proof, petrified: ammonites and ichthyosaurs. The algae living and dying with them were turned into oil by pressure and time; most of the cars on the motorway burn gas derived from that oil. Traffic can’t stop, like large bodies of water being moved by the moon.

The ocean lives almost too close to home, but thinking in convenient circles brings back sleep at last.

Paul, Cassie and Lia said thanks.

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Marcus Hammerschmitt

Writer, journalist and photographer. Eighteen books so far, on paper and on screen. My biography is boring, my life is not.

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