Monday, July 18, 2011

Beach, Day Two (part one)

More than a month after my trip to the coast, here is day two's thoughts and scribblings:

There are a lot of people on this stretch of beach, all hotel guests, I'm assuming. But it's nice, since nobody else is out on the balcony, that there are some people out.

I ordered room service this morning. Room service always sounds so luxurious, and it ended up feeling kind of lonely. I flipped through the tv--left it on some tv judge where two ex-meth addicts were suing each other. Everyone kept clapping because they were clean. I turned it off.

The tide has gone out and there are little waves, slips of water, coming up sideways. It's like they're saying, "We're building a new ocean... shhh. Don't tell anyone."

I think about voices a lot.I hear different voices for things all the time. This book I'm reading, about a bunch of international dignitaries taken hostage in a South American vice-president's home, is like that. Tons of characters, all from different countries, and I can hear all their voices as I read. Testament to the author, I guess.

The little sideways waves have children's voices. The larger, further-out mother waves sound like Kathleen Turner when she's relaxed. A little worn out, all the time.

I started reading "Even In Quiet Places" for maybe the fourth time, and I marked it like a Bible. But I don't read the Bible this way.

The people next door must be staying here a while. They have pulled plants out to the balcony, hung a dreamcatcher on the rail. Dreamcatchers are such bullshit, really.
Wait. Maybe it's not a dreamcatcher. It has a bunch of dangling strings with shells and stuff. Still. Ew.

I was just  getting up to leave the balcony when the old man next door stepped out.
"How do you like the view?" he said.
"Oh, it's beautiful," I said, "Really nice."
And he asked if I had ever been before, asked if I liked it.
"You know, we almost bought this one--thought about connecting it to our own--we were friendly with the neighbor and I told him we'd be interested if he ever sold. So he called, said he had to move to Texas where his company's headquarters was, and his wife needed a drier climate, and we thought about it. They had the place handicapped accessible--"

(NOTE: This is why my room was upgraded. Normally things like that--Oh, let's give her a shower with a bunch of contraptions--makes my blood boil, but this room is way nicer so I'm good with it)

"--but we already had that in our place for my sister-in-law, see. She was handicapped too, and then she died about six years ago--" (People do this all the time in conversations with me--they say 'handicapped' when they mean 'ill', and the story always end in death. As if I know anything about what it's like to have cancer.)

The man had settled in, draping his arms over the wall between our balconies. "She had a bunch of wishes, my wife's sister, and one of them was  to live on the coast for a while. So I lent her the $100,000 for this place--she paid me back when I sold her house--and when she passed away, all her family was here on this balcony, holding her hands and singing songs."

"It's a lovely spot," I said. What do you say?

We talked some more about family--they live full time in Oregon City and will often come here Thursday through Sunday. I mentioned Linfield and Ireland when he said his wife had traveled the world--I had just been thinking of the Irish coast when I stood to leave. So many rocks. One of my favorite memories of Ireland was sitting on a bench staring at the ocean again. I sat there for an hour after a seaweed bath, and didn't feel lonely or confused (I don't think, but memory does weird things to truth.)

The man and his wife both had family who gone to Linfield, and they encouraged me to come back before the summer was over. They're nice people. They came here with a cat in a pet carrier.


  1. what do you mean about dream-catchers!? I swear by them, not at them! Ok, that's a bold faced lie.

    Loved your writing- I have this one handicapped friend, and she's pretty awesome, oh and then I have this handicapped uncle and he died. Ya, it was pretty sad.

    haha..oh you're life is too funny! I miss you friend. Hey, when I come to PDX this fall, can I hang with you?!