The Beach

A picture of my beach. (Photo by Bob McInnis)

We were walking towards the water. The Sound is just down the road from my place, at the bottom of a very steep set of wooden stairs, and she hadn’t seen it yet. She literally stopped in her tracks in her big green rubber boots, and took a step back when the water came into view, as if she had been hit by wind. The beach was gorgeous. I think she said “Oh my God,” or something like it— “Oh,” maybe—or maybe it was just an intake of breath, and I said, “What?” And she started to say whatever it was, and then she stopped. She glared at me.

“Tell me,” I said, about her obvious delight at the water, or I said something like “Tell me”—maybe I said, “What?” and then, “What were you thinking?” But she was already angry at me, and had been for I have no idea how long—weeks? months? Something had happened somewhere in the weeks or months before, though it was nothing she had named. “You know how I feel about the beach,” she said, or something like it, meaning, “Why can’t you just leave me alone?”

I didn’t understand at the time what she meant. I thought we had been having fun. But when I wrote this little story, I finally saw: My wanting to know how she felt had, in her mind, become an aberration, a perversion even, definitely an offense. I hadn’t meant to invade the country of her being. I loved that country.

It’s just that it had been a while since I’d had something so beautiful to offer her, and now I did: a beach, glittering like a diamond across the expanse of the world. It wasn’t just any beach; it was mine, and I was giving it to her. It was fitting offering: magic to magic.  I had no way of knowing that her feelings had changed; she used to love to come to my home.

Beach!

You know those stickers that some people have on their cars, that give them parking privileges at clubs or beaches? I’ve always coveted those—like, wouldn’t it be great to live in a place where you needed one of those stickers, and, better, wouldn’t it be great to have one of those stickers, and an old car to put it on, and a dog or two, and a beach to take them too? This is a city kid talking.

L.B. came back from the town hall today with two of those stickers—one for her and one for me, Deitch. I am now the official bearer of a sticker that allows the Volvo to park at several beaches up and down the North Fork. How did this happen? L.B. rocks. And so does Scout and Jotto. The beach rocks. You rock. Life is good. You should come.