Twelves

pinecone road ends

Do you hear what I hear? No, not the clown on the trumpet playing Christmas music, for that would be me!  The sound I’m trying to drown out, of the water, so close, on a not-stormy winter night. WHOOOOOOSSHHH. I will be louder, I will.

merry xmas

I am not a fan of Christmas, I hasten to add, or of Christmas music. Yet so much seems uncertain. Not just the Mayan apocalypse, but my mom’s leukemia is back, and she loves Christmas, so there I was in the Shell, getting gas, and “Oh Holy Night” came on, and I started tearing up. It was time to turn crisis into opportunity.

tree and tarp

It sounds beautiful, to me, anyway, stripped of its hokey “king of kings” lyrics, the lone trumpet shimmering with howling mournfulness into the night. But you are wondering about doom, not just Mayan doom, but Washaway doom, am I right?

road end flat 4

At first glance it looked like the house at the end of my street had survived the first bout of storms. Except that, in the sunset, you could see a crack of light shining through the foundation, and something didn’t look quite right.

road end flat 2

road end flat 1

road end flat 3

Elsewhere on the beach, things were also not fine. The compound formerly squatted in by That One known as “Skidmark” and his significant Other was no longer suitable, even for them.

Skidmark carport 1

Skidmark carport 2

Skidmark no trespassing trailer

Well, what do you expect? ‘Tis the season. The Washaway press corps is poised for breaking news.

Marcy and pumpkin

 

massive seaweed braid

waterfront birches

chainsawed tree sunset

sunset branches

sunset truck

I saw Ray out walking his pack. “You need a sleigh,” I told him.

Ray needs sleigh

That ain't Santa.

That ain’t Santa.

Do you see what I don’t? Ten days later, there is no sign of where Skidmark was, and places I don’t remember ever noticing as waterfront are undercut, toppled. It is disorienting to not know where you are/were.

Shack and red-blooded treecarrot roots undercutsideways tyvek

Care to dance?

Care to dance?

 

salvager pink truck

Oh, salvagers. Are you recycling or looting? Is firewood that precious? Didn’tcha hear the salt beach logs will rot your stovepipe? The chainsaw, that  is what I hear, and ascribe it to the thrill of something for nothing, like hunting.

ain't no storm e

“This ain’t no storm. I am wearing my long johns,” Marcy texted me. But the sideways rain hurt just the same, and I spent the day reading scary short stories by Joyce Carol Oates. I will decide what a storm is!

Now that I am what my friend Tony calls a “retired lunatic gardener”, I  get to wear rain pants for doom, not work, and this is the front line of fashion, my pretties.

 

Dec 2012 undercut

jungle room

Have you been to Graceland, in Memphis, where Elvis’s Jungle Room has green shag carpeting on the walls, maybe the ceiling too? “I’ll have a Blue Christmas Without You”, that is what I will serenade you with tonight.

sand in road ends

How can there be sand in the house at the end of the road? It has been planted, like a sculpture installation. No way the water was up that high. Oh. Yes, it was.

twelves 01

 

twelves 02

Here it is, 12/12/12. I am forty-five and a half today, like anyone celebrates these things. It is not that stormy for a 10.5 tide. The highest tide is tomorrow, 10.6. My neighbors bought more firewood today. The audacity of hope!

twelves 04

Tons of tiny birds in the trees. The weather is mild. Starlings? They fly in a pack, in a rush, with an insistent twittering that is so cute, charming. Westward leading, still proceeding. Guide us to that perfect light.

twelves 17

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About washybeach

Washaway Beach This Week is a blog by photojournalist Erika Langley. See more work at www.erikalangley.com.
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One Response to Twelves

  1. liz phraner says:

    The little cabin that went in on Ash St. is mine. Such a sad day. Forty years of memories made there and away it goes. i spent time there with my grandparents and my grandkids but wish we could have had a few more years.

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