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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
Well, what do you expect? ‘Tis the season. The Washaway press corps is poised for breaking news.
I saw Ray out walking his pack. “You need a sleigh,” I told him.
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.
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.
“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.
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.
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.
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!
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.