I Sell Sea Shells

For you it is a tongue twister; for me it is a tragedy.

For I am the woman who sells the sea shells. That I have ended up here, by the sea shore, has seemed like a series of choices, but I now realize that it is destiny. Who really needs to buy shells, when the ocean brings them in by the dozen?

If I could live at the strip of stores by the sea shore, then I could polish my wares, shellac them into an unnatural state, ready for desk-tops and gift boxes. But my “choices” compel me to simply stay by the sea shore, the wind hissing in my ears.

I march up and down the beach, picking up the choicest shells, plucking the seaweed, wiping off the brine, lowering my prices.

They say there’s a recession going on. I wouldn’t know. I work in a recession proof industry; sales are always bad.

Perhaps I should give the shells away, and live off charity. I could use a new business model. But I can’t help but feel my work is worth some compensation. I feel compelled to sell.

Children collect their buckets filled with hole ridden conch shells, periwinkles choking in the air and shiny rocks already losing their luster on the way to the family station wagon. They don’t have the perception to appreciate a truly good find, a perfect unblemished shell. I do, and surely some others. Won’t you buy? Won’t you buy a fine sea shell?

I sell sea shells by the sea shore.

–Dan Kilian

Staten Island Chuck

Garfield Minus Garfield


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