Today I drove around Greenport with a real-estate agent named JoAnn, in her beat-up pint-sized Toyota pickup. People buy these houses out here, but they don’t use them, and then there they are, for people like me who don’t mind the quiet and the nothing to do. These houses, less expensive than a studio apartment in Brooklyn, have weathered gray shingles and professional stoves and heated floors and bathrooms so fancy that the showers don’t have stalls—there’s just a hand-held showerhead hooked on the wall and a drain in the middle of the bathroom. Both the places I saw today had rights to private beaches with white sand and smooth rocks that Scout could walk on, if he ever got to feeling better. Otherwise he could just stand by driftwood and smell the salted air.
My heart started pounding today while I was standing in the middle of one of these places, looking out of windows on three sides, all that faced trees and sky and huge, green lawns you could fit a horse on (though this is wine country, not horse). One place faced an inlet: It started to storm and you could see through the window the sudden, bright, jagged lightening crack the sky and run towards the water before disappearing, as if it never existed. The skylights overhead darkened, and the house shook.
This is what I’ve grown to think: That everything that seems too good to be true, is. If there’s not a sudden hitch, then God is going to come down, right when you’re happiest, and smite you. And I don’t even believe in God.
What a thing it would be to step out into the field of dreams unconcerned about what was going to happen next, and just be there, brave, for whatever came, even though, like the lightening, whatever came would soon be gone.