“An interval is a gap in time or space, whereas an interlude generally functions to fill such a gap, thus occupy an interval.”                               -Roget’s Thesaurus

“Ever worry about the future, Erika?” a well-off friend who is a doctor asked me recently. I found the question confusing.

Open house.

“Which future?” I asked. “Losing my property? Natural disaster? The apocalypse? Cancer?”

Turns out she was talking about Retirement, which is, I’m sorry to say, a rich person’s conceit. I told my friend Mark this story, and he laughed so hard he fell off his bar stool. “Yeah, I’ve got a retirement plan!” he joked. “It’s called DEATH!”

Upon further questioning, the good doctor’s Apocalypse Go-Bag is in the same state as my Retirement, which is to say, no supplies.

October was Get Your Apocalypse Gear Together (aka Emergency Preparedness) Month. My current provisions hail mainly from of Trader Joe’s. It will be a curious melange of those Indian meals that come in MRE-esque foil pouches, trail mix, assorted nuts, the inevitable peanut butter, canned pineapple, sardines, and cat food. (Some have suggested I will eat Hugo, but if it comes to that, I’ll let him eat me). I don’t know how it is possible to carry enough water. Your tips are welcome!

One handy thing about worrying about impending doom all the time is that when there is NOTHING happening, it seems pretty awesome, and when things go better than expected, well, I like to picture Big Bird singing “Freebird.”

It was this time of year, ten years ago, that I got my beach property. There’s a thing that happens with the seaweed in the fall. This particular type of seaweed washes up that looks like sea serpents, textiles, Celtic knots, and flowers.

Something about the presence of the seaweed is unearthing a stew of nostalgia and grief, whereas I should be joyful in the moment where nothing is happening. Yet.


I asked my neighbor, Resha, who is waterfront now, if she was experiencing dread. “Dread is worrying about something that’s going to happen,” she told me. “This is happening.”

I am spending some time with my parents this week, who, against my wishes, unacceptably, are getting older. My poor Mom has shingles, which is absolutely horrible, and I encourage all my readers 50 and better to go get that vaccine, stat. Mom says it is the worst thing ever, worse than leukemia, chemo, and two C-sections. Any questions?

My friend Mark was asking me if I’m “ready” to lose my property. I have concluded that worrying is not the same as readiness. I can no sooner bear the thought of losing my property than I can of losing my parents.

“There’s no preparing, only coping,” my Mom said.

I hung a Dreamcatcher in my trailer, which, if the Native Americans are correct, will catch the good dreams, while letting the bad ones fly on through.

Now, while nothing is happening, I will dare to dream. Stay. Just everything please stay. Just. Like. This.


About washybeach

Washaway Beach This Week is a blog by photojournalist Erika Langley. See more work at
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One Response to Interlude

  1. Damn! What a poignant posting!… Nice work, E… Keep writing, you’re kicking my arse! ~t

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