This story, “Lost Boy” by Cory Saul, sort of captures how I’m feeling right now:
In the San Diego harbor I met a Found Girl, not much older than me, who lived on a shoal of abandoned boats with her two children. Theirs was a twenty-three foot schooner infested with termites and black mice that nibbled at the discarded wings of the family’s seagull dinners.
In the afternoons we would sit together on top of the tilted hull, the plagued mast pointing toward Tijuana, while her fatherless babies slept under eaten cloth below. She’d pull back the rubber of a wrist rocket she once bought off a white boy, and sling a piece of splintering fiberglass at a gull. A dead aim every time. When a few were down, she’d have me wade over the shoal, up to my waist in harbor brine, to grab the limp carcasses from the water. “Cuidado. Las rayas,” she’d warn me from the boat.
I said nothing about how sad it was that her Place (of all places) was that rotten spot in the middle of the water. But it didn’t seem to faze her.
There’s also an amusing story in the same issue, “Horn” by Sarah Goslee, about a woman who works for the Department of Supernatural Resources.