I asked Kirby if I could ask him a couple of questions. He leapt up from the bench overlooking the ocean he wasn’t seeing as though I’d shocked him out of a slumber, spread his arms wide, and closed the distance between us. He was looking for a hug. I demurred in favour of a fist bump. Told him again that I was doing an interview project. Before I could explain further, he told me to sit down with my notebook (I don’t carry one) - he was going to tell me about life. I tried interjecting, though making no great effort to steer the conversation, to mention that I had a specific interest in learning about folks’ relationships with the coast - perhaps he could tell me why he’d picked this spot. He, in response, started telling me about his father, the head of the Hells Angels. About the life he and his brother had growing up in Quebec. Motorbikes. They didn’t want to hurt anyone. Drugs. But that wasn’t what they were about. About the two boats his father had had. About how he’d died on one of them, at 48 years old, when a fishing net caught on his leg and pulled him under. About the wife who left him, taking two daughters that she said were his. He wasn’t sure they were, but seemed sure he missed them. I said that it all sounded hard, to which he translated into English the laissez-faire of “C’est la vie.” That’s just how life goes. You can’t take it too hard; you gotta let things go. A thumbs-up.
I still don’t know how Kirby came to be facing the coast.