I’ve spent the last few weeks in a state of heart-pounding retroactive dread. It’s not especially practical, as there’s nothing left to lose. This is supposed to be freedom, right?
It was this time last year that my place washed away. Now the erosion does not impact me. But the wind howls, and the rain flies sideways, and it all still seems fresh. I remember being at work last year, spending the day pruning some shrubs I hate, Pittosporums, while the wind roared and I knew for certain that my next-door neighbor Craig’s house was falling into the ocean. I still hate the Pittosporums for that day.
The dread, the waiting for the shoe to drop, knowing but not knowing when, was paralyzing. So I was worried about my friend Ken. He was recently on the news for their traditional “Storms Equal Doom at Washaway Beach!” story.
“Just riding out the storm, waiting for the erosion to take the house,” Ken told the reporter. “Mother Nature’s gonna take it. Just have to live with it. Hey, but look at the view!”
So I went to see Ken and I was pleased to see that he was actually Next To Next, with the abandoned trailer of the rock hound, who left a pile of geodes behind, still ahead of him, doom-wise.
Ken’s immediate problems were coming from wind damage: roof leaks and such. We went for a photo safari walk in the enchanted forest, and he spoke of hoping to go to the southwest somewhere, Arizona or Utah maybe, where it would be not raining and great for pictures.
Strange as it sounds, going to Washaway helped soothe my dread. For one thing, things were about the same. Bruno’s place was still waterfront. Belly-Acres By The Sea was still its same sad crumble of elaborate masonry.
My poor Vagabond, I suspect, must be taking a turn for the worse, with the tarp blown sideways, and the hole in the roof where the stovepipe was open to the elements. I will not let myself look closely.
I walked on my old street, Blue Pacific Drive, at dusk with Marcy and Bob and two big dogs. The old neighborhood I find quite creepy, what with all the tweakers and ghosts, the zombie apocalypse. So I was glad to have a posse, though we didn’t see anyone.
I am determined to still find comfort here at Washaway, even though I should know better now.
P.S. to local types, check out my story and photographs about my adventures falling into the ocean last year in the winter issue of Washington Coast magazine.