Autumn in New England

Friday October 17, 2008
7:56amEating biscuits, grits and eggs (over easy) in an unnamed restaurant chain fashioned after a country general store. As I spoon the last of my grits into my mouth, each piece conveniently finding a wedge between my teeth, I look up at the mounted deer head on the wall and below it, also mounted, the shotgun that presumably killed it. I wash it all down with some coffee. I think there was bacon in that hash casserole…

11:10am - Point Judith-Montauk Point Ferry to Block IslandMy brother and father are arguing over a dentist appointment. Dad reaches for cigarette, before he realizes there’s one already fuming between his lips.

I watch Montauk fade and think, I would have waited forever. I give up on coincidence and have another cup of coffee.

2:13pm - Mohegan Bluffs
Flashback to family vacation, same place, 13 years ago: Climbing the 80+ rickety stairs down the cliff seems less daunting. It’s either because my legs are longer, stronger; because I am braver and more adventurous; or maybe because, according to Daddy, they’ve been rebuilt.

When I was 8 and my brother was 6, we sat in the same place, near the water’s edge, in our matching Navy sweatshirts, picking snails off the rocks. It was especially gratifying for Justin when he was able to throw a snail and have it bounce off another rock. Personally, I thought I was saving them- returning them to the sea, to their homes and families. It wasn’t their fault that their undersides were sticky. My dad watches us atop a large rock, contemplative.

Now, my brother throws fist-sized rocks at larger rocks. It’s particularly gratifying when they burst into pieces. My sister is giving herself an oceanic Facebook photoshoot. I’m balancing rocks atop each other to make “fuckin hippie sculptures.” My dad watches from atop a rock, contemplative. His beard’s a little grayer.

I feel this is a good representation of my family.

5:00pm – BeachHead Tavern and Restaurant
Jen: I haven’t seen any cops here.
[Immediately I flashback to RA training, city tours. Of course I have noticed that there are not many cops. I’ve completed a sociogram of the hotel staff and shop owners we’ve met, I’ve proactively met my neighbors and I’ve done a demographic scan of my environment]

Daddy: There’s probably only one or two. Not a lot of people here in the off season. Fire department’s all volunteer.

Justin: What happens if that one guy gets shot? Probably just get another from the mainland. Oh man, that guy’s prob so pissed. ‘fuck, Block Island duty’

The gulp of Dogfish Indian Brown Ale I just took is fully expelled through my nose, into my hand. After realizing that our plates have been taken away, I let said expelled beer splatter on the table, absorbed by the paper placemat. I would have been embarrassed if we all weren’t laughing so hard and if my nose didn’t burn so bad.

8:30pm: The National Hotel, Water Street, with an ocean viewWe all shamelessly go to bed and immediately fall asleep. There’s a big orange man made of cheese outside our window, but the wind blows cotton over his face to make a fluffy beard.

In 13 years I’ll be back here with my children.

1 comment:

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