Notes from Thalassa, Tuesday, after being there 3 days
Just want to say that here I see real geese. Not those sidewalk crappers down by the lake that eat hamburger buns out of the garbage, but sleek Canadian geese with accents. Not the fakers by the Montrose Harbor Yacht Club who wouldn’t know Ontario from Ontario Street. Here they fly over like stealth drones, fit and in shape. No waddling. They catch fish to eat, call out to mates, and at sunset line up in V formation for night maneuvers. The geese by us in uptown wouldn’t know they were silly gooses even if you told them. They’d hiss and keep pecking in the grass for grubs or cigarette butts.
Wind from the north,
White caps today.
During the night I could sense
a change, a shift. Items on the deck
skittered into corners, a window
not latched banged, until I removed
the screen and pulled it in and hooked
the eye, then replaced the screen—
I don’t know why; they aren’t storm
Windows, nothing is air-tight.
I closed the door,
Something I haven’t done since I got here.
According to the radio the high today
Is only going to be the mid 50s with
Wind directly off the water. The temp
In the shack is 57̊. A day for tea and
Writing beneath blankets.
Occasionally the sun pops out and
For a second the room solar heats and
The grey water picks up some jade around
The shallow sand bars.
I want the blue
That Hopper blue
But I am limited by words
What do I mean by blue
The blue door to this shack, or
Would that be turquoise
Yet turquoise can also be green, teal
Even acqua-marine can pale
Cold as ice next to Robin egg blue or a cornflower
The water is blue, no it isn’t
It’s grey, slate, pewter, white-capped silver.
The sky is sky, no it’s clouds, contrails, bleached bone.
You see, I don’t know what I want.
It’s Tuesday. How do I know? I don’t until I turn on my phone. The days sort of run together. Wake up, eat, read, write, walk, eat, read, write, pump water, go to the outhouse (a lot), over and over. Occasionally, I make popcorn for the outhouse, feed it a snack. Actually this is part of the outhouse hygiene. Poop corn, is how I refer to it. Maybe a Boy Scout or biologist can explain it to me later.
Basically I sit when I’m not sleeping, pee when I’m not drinking tea, read when I’m not writing. I’m either making food or thinking of making food. In between I try to remember what day it is.
Oh, it is beautiful. I listen to the surf, to the birds sing and think: How far is it to walk to town?
I seriously thought about it this afternoon. There’d be time to get there and back—but what would I do? I could check my e-mail at the library, yet . . . would I seriously want to walk for an hour and a half to delete SPAM? Yes! And, then an hour and a half back. Maybe. No.
The wind has been strong all day and its COLD outside. If its only 60̊ in here then its 50 something out there. I get out when I run from the shack to the privy—about a hundred times a day because of all the tea I drink.
It’s beautiful but isolated. I think of Edward and Jo (Hopper) in their cottage in N. Truro. Get me a ham sandwish, he calls, and she answers, Get it yourself, you big lug. He couldn’t paint all day, there was no Internet, no TV (possibly, but no reception out here). Did they have a phone? Maybe for emergencies. How did they spend all the long hours of the day.
What I miss most is a radio and if I ever come again I’ll invest in one of those “wind-up” ones you crank. I’ll learn the name of symphonies, the numbers for concertos. I’ll research biographies of composers, conductors, and become a connoisseur of classical, anything to not go mad and walk off the cliff in front of me.
I feel like I’m running one of those extreme sports races. I’m gonna make it, I’m gonna make it, I’m gonna make it . . . even if I go crazy, drop dead of a heart attack, and forget why I even wanted this so bad.
Have decided to start talking to myself. Trying to think of names for the “other” guy.