There is a Season
January 4th 2009 – The Tower, HomePort
From every point on the compass, Nature offers a different display. Some days, the wind assaults the old house and makes the beech trees dance. Sometimes, the snow swirls around the tower so wildly I feel as if I’m alone in the middle of the ocean. Other times, the waves are so high I can almost imagine Helltown—the town that used to be on Long Point—being overwhelmed by the sea. No wonder they floated the houses back here.
Yesterday’s snowstorm turned the beaches a brilliant white, but now its high tide. The harbor roils in whitecaps that flatten as they cross Long Point. There’s not a trace of snow to be seen out there. Then there’s the light. Many mornings, the sunrise makes me believe in some sort of divine plan. Right now, sun is setting. Red and purple color the sky. The gulls are returning from the ocean to roost, flying past me so close I can almost touch them.
Being up here, surveying all, has given me perspective. I’ve come to understand the impact of winter’s desolation on the people who live here. The houses beyond the gate are empty, as are streets all across town. The isolation is intense. You have no one but your neighbors, if you’re lucky to have any. I can almost picture what it was like when Lola and Dorrie were children and there weren’t even empty houses nearby.
Sometimes when I walk downtown for the mail, the only sound I hear is the creak of signs blowing in the wind. Often, I don’t see another soul. Even so, I’m less lonely than I was in New York. Go figure. Open mic at the Mews, dinner with Lola or Dorrie, a movie with Helena, and Outer Cape Chorale concerts are pretty much my social life. I’ve been to the A-House a few times, but wasn’t comfortable enough to talk to anyone. It’s too soon.
That place is fantastic if you study the decor instead of the patrons. All that history, the Mapplethorpe photograph, the nude picture of Tennessee Williams, and the roughhewn beams. I walked around just taking in the feel of the place but tensed whenever someone cruised me, so of course, no one came near. I’d end up just having a beer and heading home. A wild night, indeed, but right now that’s okay. I have more important things to do.
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