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Purgatory - Sunday, Feb. 10, 2019
Sunday, Mar. 16, 2003 @ 11:37 pm
I raced home after class on Friday and we managed to make the 7:30 ferry. We pulled up into the numbered lanes, counted the number already filled, and sighed with relief that we would make the next ferry. At that very moment we both just went limp into our seats, talked, watched the ferry traffic below and let the stress seep away into the pavement.
We went out onto the front of the ferry where the wind is tornado-strong, where the wind pulls your words and your laughter away so quick, where your hair becomes a wild untameable animal that is constantly hunting for your tongue in your mouth. We browsed through the books in the snack shop and helped two girl guides with their scavenger hunt. How many years ago had we been scavenging that same list on that same ferry? Only at that time, we still had to wear blue dresses and knee socks.
Once docked in the landing, we had to race up the hill into town before the liquor store closed. We made it just in time. And time to get groceries too. That chore accomplished, we drove through the sleeping towns along the coast. It's spring break, I guess, becuase so many of the cottages puffed smoke from their chimneys.
The gate swings open, I wedge it open in the low swinging cedar branches, and we pile out of the Civic into the cabin. The creek to the West is rushing full, and the tide is high up into the estuary.
Soon we're sitting at the big family-sized dining table, drinking cider and half-heartedly taking notes from our respective textbooks. The note-taking quickly breaks down as conversation wells up. It's been a while since I talked with anyone about anything. She talks a lot about her new recent man prospect, as people seem prone to doing with me. But then I realize that relationships with guys are the most important thing in their lives, besides money and health of course.
I fall asleep to the sound of the overflowing river and to the sound of her breathing. It's eerie silent. I fight to stay awake longer becuase in-the-dark conversations are always the most important.
In the morning, I stumble to the icey bathroom and then pull up the blinds to SEE the sea. I step quietly onto the deck, careful not to wake her up, and then all the roosting ducks and geese and gulls rise up in surprised alarm. A thousand wings, a thousand honks, and the flash of white feathers against the early morning sunshine. Water laps calmly. And the river still rushes into the salty ocean.
Later we go down to the sea walk that fronts the markets. In the summer the walk is packed with children and dogs all with sandy feet, but now it is quiet. Rain lightly falls. We watch a creature-woman collect kelp from the beach. The rain steadies and we spend a couple hours in the antique shops and natural foods stores. We go into the 420 Hemp Shop and see a mother buying her twelveteen son a pipe with his birthday money.
We find a pub that's showing the game. Wooden chairs, cottage brew, greasy food... makes up for a losing score.
Somehow by this time the sun has set. We head home and tuck into red wine. Two-Bottle Drunk later, we're dancing in the living room that overlooks the water crashing on the rocks below. The fire burns down to smouldering red coals. We hug each other because this is about as good as it gets.
This morning we walked over to the government wharf. There were two green bottles rolling around so she picked them up and placed them on the railing. Can you hear that? It's the wind - playing the bottles like a flute.
I'm back on the farm now. Over the weekend the frogs must have hatched - or transformed - whatever you call metamorphosis in a non-technical way. Instead of the ocean and river here, it's the constant hum of the frogs. There are layers and layers of sound all the way across the fields and forest.
Right beside me are the souveniers that my parents brought me from their trip to Arizona last week: a rock and a twisted rusted donkey shoe. You could laugh, I could too, but the rock and shoe are about all I need to convince me that the Canyon is an awesome place to visit.
"I had a good weekend. I really needed that."