August 7, 2009


Now that I am truly by myself I realize how integrated I am used to being. It is so quiet here at night. I am not used to being able to hear every creak in the house, every swelling of the pine and popping of the metal roof. My favorite part of day is the late afternoon when the light hits the grass and trees and water just so and the swan family leaves their cove for the shallow water in front of the house. I sit on the porch with a gin and tonic and wave at kayakers and boats passing by. Midday tends to be lonely. The island empties out during the week--the campers all returned to what I imagine to be depressing inland suburbs. The campground is all RVs, and every RV has a wooden placard personalized for the family that occupy it--"The Readings from Richmond, VA!" Several Rebel flags grace rudimentary flagpoles at the campground, even during the week when the campers are empty, the beach desolate.

I'm still anonymous here, though I am definitely noticed. I am overdressed for this downtown, in my dresses and sunglasses and nice car. They are rude to me at the grocery store, and I eyeball the pubescent gay bagger and wonder if he'll leave Mathews someday. I make too much food for no one.

A barn owl landed in the lawn last night, about twenty feet from my seat on the porch, and bobbed its head from side to side at me. A pretty accurate representation of my reception here. I tried not to become convinced it was actually an alien. At night I stare out the multitude of black, blindless, ground level windows and try not to hear the creepy Banjo riff from Deliverance, which I have vowed not to watch while I'm here.

The fig trees in the yard overflow with fruit and a flock of crows gathers beneath, pecking at the fallen figs. Gulls dive for fish in Milford Haven and fishing boats leave Barn Creek equipped for the evening fishing hour. I try very hard not to feel bored or lonely, and yell out to a woman in a kayak passing by. She obliges me, and I realize I haven't spoken a single word today.

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