Usually, I’d start off by saying “What a fucking day!” But I’m rereading Steinbeck’s The Wayward Bus and so I’m noticing what it takes to make a compelling first line.
Surprisingly, it isn’t having something clever to say, “best of times worst of times….” it’s a matter of dropping the reader into the middle of the beginning of the action. Steinbeck wants us to forget that we haven’t already been in the experience up to this point. He describes the surroundings at a time when nothing but night is happening to them.
The story doesn’t start. It just appears out of the descriptive verbiage. Truth to be told I’m still not sure the story has even started. I’m 100 pages in.
The quality of the light, that’s how you know. 10 days in a row it seems, the light at 8 am is bright and penetrating. Not this morning. “Cloudy,” kaLOOWdee as the guy on the weather service radio hung on the wall says it. I wonder if the same “guy” does the national weather service weather radio reports where you live. But, it’s not a guy. It’s an automaton. So why wouldn’t it be the same voice? If you’ve listened to a weather band radio and you know what I mean by kaLOOWdee, then I’ll call that part done. (Take that, Steinbeck!)
I woke up without purpose. I did not have a job for me to do today… actually I have a lot of them, but I’m putting them off until I can tackle the whole thing. Let the dogs out. If I want, they’ll be more than happy to help me kill some time, they have ideas. “Ok, fetch…”
I got at least 6 of the,… the… what do you call them? They’re not flowers. They are kind of like dandelions. If dandelion seeds were a half inch long per seed. If the dandelion puff ball were three inches across, then MAYBE I’d know that there is a word for those things. quick look in Wiki will tell me that they aren’t dandelions, which is cool with me. I don’t find the plant anywhere but right alongside my particular driveway. Nobody yet I have shown them to has ever seen their mate anywhere. But then, they walk right past my own, so the chances are that, unless they fell onto them, they’d never see them.
Great! they’ll make a great guest gift whenever we’re asked to visit. I catch them at their peak, just as the seeds are ready to jump off the head for the slightest whisper of wind in its ear. I spritz them with AquaNet that I bought at the CVS for just such a purpose. The hairs of the, I’m going to call it a whirly; and I’m going to change the image from that of hair to that of feather. I hope the people at AquaNet don’t mind that theirs is now a feather spray.
But I learned from the experience. I can grab one a little early and don’t spritz it. Bring it inside and let it keep drying out, that way I can beat the wind in its race with me to grab the seeds before AquaNet and I trap time. I got at least 6 of them today. Inside, even as the sea wind blew over the dunes and across the flat and especially into the slipstream of the house print in the less dense ocean of air.
Just like the waves hitting the rocky shore of an immeasurable number of seascape paintings, so too does the wind splash against the fore quarters of the beach house, and so too does the air circulate and fill in where there is no wave.
Yogurt, berries… Peanut butter and banana on that whole grain bread that needs to be toasted to soften it up a bit. Percolator coffee. Farberware, stainless steel, 10 cups. It’s been up here since we bought the place back when Ari was 5. The friggin Cuisinart just gave it up. What happened to French? Sabatier Knives used to be the world’s best (That’s what my boss who was a genuine French Chef told me back when I was going to do that.) Now they’re just not. And Cuisinart does not inspire confidence.
Maybe I can do that today? I’ll dissect the coffee maker. There’s probably some switch that got corroded on “off.” But the percolator is working just fine. Except for the filters. It seems nobody sells filters for percolators anymore. But I have a few more places to look anyway. The Hardware store might just… Oh and computer speakers I want to remember to look for some. That’ll be fun. They make a lot of noise and they really don’t cost a lot.
Big day ahead for moi! Let’s just look upstairs, those sound like waves. Oh look, they ARE waves, and those guys who were giving it up at 10 AM, they’re back, and they’re in the water. Those waves are crashing over their heads. LITTLE CHOPPY, I’ll admit. And those boyos do NOT know how to catch a wave. I guess I’ll have to get in.
10:30 the water is, well it’s early and I’m not wet yet, nothing like the water chilling you down inch by inch… Yeah, no! That’s gonna get wet all at once. And here’s all at once now! Yeow!
All at once there is a nice 7 foot wave cresting right here and you’re standing right in its doorway. Push off with the left leg as you throw the right leg over the horse and drive forward, trying to match the speed of the tripping oval of water. “I’m wet now.” as the wave sucks you up into it. Well you’re 60% water anyway so that water must obey the dictates of water itself. I hate diving from high places. I’ll do a three meter board, 10? No thanks. Rocks? Not much. First of all, it hurts when you hit the water. Like the middle school gym teacher/ basketball coach said when I asked him if he’d ever dived off the 10 foot board into hard water? “All water is hard from ten feet up!” It was soon after this that I found out that guys who played basketball were not at all likely to be pool rats like I was.
But put me on top of a 10 foot wave, one that is about to drop me and then collapse on top of me. I’m about as happy as I know how to be.