I keep hearing voices in the waves. Usually it's like a conversation in another room: muted, indistinguishable. At high tide, though, especially at the new moon, sometimes I can hear what they're saying.

"Where did you go?" asks one.

"Out fishing," comes the reply.

Then there are the ghosts, the voices of the sailors who drowned on the rocks under the headland, lured in by the wreckers' lights.

Other nights, my own dead come and talk to me. "Why do you stay here?" she asks. "Why not leave? There's nothing left in this house for you."

If I leave, I won't hear her talking to me any more.

I could, I suppose. Go down to the city, find a place to live, drown out the voices of the waves in traffic and crowds. I could go inland, find a place among cows and cornfields, leave them all behind.

One is too loud, the other too quiet.

I will do neither. Tonight as the tide is turning back toward the shore, I will go down to the bottom of the headland and gather up some of the small smooth stones into my pockets. I will walk out among the rocks and the waves will take me out to join the ghosts, to join her.