Calm down, this isn’t what you think. I apologize, if you got your hopes up. I am an enthusiastic wanderer of the outdoors by foot, kayak, or bicycle. My latest common stomping ground is North Padre Island National Seashore in Texas. Miles and miles of protected beach appeals to me. However, beaches in Texas are considered to be state highways, so driving on the beach is common. The result is I can walk or cycle on the beach and see lines of vehicles full of people fishing and merrymaking. On my early morning rides, I tend to see the results of merrymaking and fishing as the trash people left on the beach. While I’m openly disgusted about how such a beautiful beach is treated, as a writer, I’m also a bit fascinated.
Many years ago, I went to an archeological seminar about Native American villages found along the Chesapeake Bay in Virginia. The archeologist told the crowd how his job was mostly searching around the forest for evidence of past civilizations. One of the easiest ways to find a civilization that was not commonly known to build lasting structures, was where they placed their trash. While I wandered the national seashore, my inspiration grew.
I was also inspired by the classic Airport Game. I always knew it as the Airport Game, but it can be played anywhere. The premise of the game is to observe strangers in a busy place and create stories simply through observation. My goal with my “trashy stories” is to do same thing, but with the trash I find at the national seashore or other places I happen to be. I also see it as a writing challenge to build a story from an unseen stranger’s trash. I’m not certain how this experiment will pan out, but I hope you’re willing to follow along for the ride.