The Island of Weird Sounds An ocean of crashing waves where the sky should be. Salt waves surging and crashing, ebbing and flowing overhead. I open my eyes. The real ocean is lying down in front of me, where it belongs, but its sounds emit from above. Aural illusion. Because there is an immense tan cliff with thousands of round pores and a long arced top standing behind me. The sound of the waves bounces right off the cliff top and reflects down from above. Disorienting. No sand on this beach. Just water-polished, smooth white pebbles. Mostly just under ping-pong ball size. Some bead-sized. Worn flattish and round. The clear water is the color of cloudless blue Jell-O. The pebble bed is perfectly visible for about a hundred yards into the water, morphing under the soft, foamless, rounded tops of harmless waves. This weird place is on Agistri. Not many people on this island this time of year. The tide rolls out and it sounds like a rainstick. Shik-a-tak-a-shok-a-taka shika shika. Hundreds of white pebbles rolling over each other downhill. Water sloshes around them as they sink below the tide. Other sound effects. When I walk in shoes, the smooth, golfball-sized pebbles squeak and grind against each other under each step. Somehow, this sounds like ice cubes being dropped on a taut basketball. This crunchy bounce-like noise ricochets off the cliff wall same as the waves. Funny little piece of the world. It only has two aspects: blue water, and polished white stones. Sounds coming from the wrong direction. The smooth, sun-warmed stones are almost like a massage bed if you have a towel to drop over them. The smell of wildflowers appears and vanishes with each swoon of wind. Hard to say whether you’re awake or dreaming. Easy to say, actually. I’m awake in the regular old real world. Because here come three other people. A girl braving the freezing water for bikini pictures. A fat boyfriend who is regulated to photographer duties. A long-haired third-wheeler seeking the comfort of a joint. No more private island. “Ok, get one of me candid. Lower angle, lower.” Oh, weird. Her voice is coming down from the top of the cliff, too. Flopping back down on the towel, I see there are coin-sized pebbles on top of coffee-bean sized pebbles. Shades of white on white. Now, I know you’re no expert on fluid dynamics, but the coin-size pebbles can be submerged under the bed of bean-size pebbles with a simple press of a fingertip. I submerge about twelve pebbles, just pressing them down. Bam! Bright red in the field of white. Sea glass. Frosty red glass polished smooth. Looking extra special with all the contrast. And wow! Here’s a green one. Specialties. Rarities. Ok, time to start stacking. Sea glass sandwich is what I’m thinking. Coin-sized smooth white pebble. Red cloudy glass. Another white. Green frosty glass. Final white pebble. Done. Nice. We’re getting somewhere. Accomplishing things. “Now a video. Me like, pushing my hair back.” Ha. She’s still floating up there. Whoosh. Shik-a-tak-a-shok-a-taka shika taka tika. Look at this particular pebble. Exactly the size, shape, and color of a mint Mento. Matte, not glossy, though. Looks lick-able. Well, why not? Lightly salted, not minty. Of course. The tide touches the cliff wall when it’s flooded full. A lightly salted place, on top of everything else. Now look at this white pebble. It has three divots exactly like bowling ball holes. A distinguishing little feature. A way for it to feel unique in a world of conformity, no doubt. I toss it behind me and it clinks somewhere. I bring a flattish stone to the shoreside, wet, bright pebbles squeaking and grinding under each step. Fling the stone sidearm. It skips about three or four times before sinking in a splash. “Not bad,” faces from the two guys. The girl does not react in any way. Yeah, I am a pretty good skipper. Actually.Get my book Odd Jobs & After Hours in audio, hardcover, or paperback by clicking here. It’s about drifting down the east coast of the USA chasing one sketchy, so-called opportunity after another.