“Will I hit a lot of traffic on my way outa here?” the man seated in the booth next to me asked. He was in his 60s, wore jeans, a yellow and blue plaid shirt, suspenders and a baseball that read Edison, NJ. It was 9 am on a Friday morning in Montauk, NY (the End of the south fork of Long Island) and we were having breakfast at a local pancake house.
“I don’t know. It’s my first time… Your first time here?” I asked.
“Yeah. Arrived at 3:30 this morning. Dropped off a load of shrubs at the nursery.”
His truck was a sleeper and he’d taken a snooze in the parking lot where he’d delivered his load. He had a refrigerator and a TV too.
We talked about Tennessee, New England, New Jersey.
You want to hear some juicy stuff. Plunk yourself down next to a trucker. And listen.
“You on Facebook?” he asked. I nodded.
“You gotta check out this lady…Moonpie Starbox. She does something new every day,” he handed me his phone. I was worried what he might be showing me.
I checked it out. It was a talking Dachshund. Not really my thing but I promised to check it out later.
He left the restaurant. I left a few minutes later just in time to see him driving west, out of town. I waved from the sidewalk. He waved back.
I wanted to share the really juicy stuff with you, but decided to save it for another time.
It was a new hike for me, but on a well-worn path. As the trail dipped, the temperature dropped. I wondered whether water flowed nearby or the coolness was because the sun barely reached this place. I couldn’t see ahead but I felt around the corner there’d be something sinister or saintly: a vision, an omen, something gory, something memorable, an encounter. I gripped the straps of my knapsack and walked ahead.
The beauty of summer doesn’t come without some loud, ugly sounds.
Lawn mowers, leaf blowers and after Hurrican Isiasis a few weeks ago, chain saws and generators. It seems just when you decide to make a phone call or have a cup of coffee or a glass of wine on the patio, some motor begins whining. Buzzing. Droning. Irritating. Incessantly. Starting. Stopping. Ear-piercing.
However, interestingly, the unit used to measure sound is quite pleasant. Decibel… Decibel… Decibel…
I doubt I’ll remember that the next time the cacophony begins, but I might give one of my characters with an anger issue a leaf blower to contend with when on an important phone call. Let’s see how they handle that!
I saw nearly a hundred swan on a nearby pond this summer and earlier this week I saw a couple dozen on a bay. Before this, I’d never seen more than two swans together. They’re elegant birds. I thought of clothing designer Gloria Vanderbilt’s swan logo, the ballet Swan Lake, a swan song, and the Twelve Days of Christmas’s Seven Swans a Swimming.
One stepped onto the beach in front of me and it was the first time I’d seen a swan out of the water. I was struck by the feet: large, powerful, black, reminding me of a fisherman’s boots. The neck stretched longer than I could have imagined. It looked like a different bird. I was amazed. I’d been treated to a new view of a swan and that was exciting.
Just had my first “pandemic“ lunch out. The rules explained by the hostess were simple: masks required when moving around the restaurant and the table was ours for 90 minutes. Though unfathomable at the beginning of 2020, I was more than happy to follow their rules if it meant I could be out with friends and not have to cook. I felt so free!
Once settled, I enjoyed a few moments looking out the large rain spattered windows taking in the choppy waters of the New England bay on the grayest of days and I was grateful. I scanned the restaurant seeing people indoors and unmasked in public for the first time. At the closest table to us off to the right, some thirty feet away, an older couple laughed and chatted. The man had gray hair and a kind face. The woman looked approachable and helpful, like someone you’d ask for directions. Then I noticed her ankle and said to my companions, “The woman over there is wearing an ankle bracelet. Like from jail.” They looked and agreed. I suppose she’s feeling free too, I thought.
Throughout lunch I’d occasionally glance over at the woman trying to figure out what crime she may have committed. I came up empty. A puzzle I couldn’t solve.
Finally, the couple got up to leave. I stared at them looking for clues. Now that her leg was in full view, I had a better idea of what she may have done. Seems that to my untrained eye, an ankle monitor looks a lot like the bottom part of a leg brace people often wear after knee surgery.