Saturday, August 17, 2013

ocean v pond

I usually go to the pond. It's 20 minutes away. I like the cold clear water, the pine trees, and the loons. I like to watch the kayakers put in and take out.

But it's crowded. People get in my bubble.

Yesterday I could smell the rancid sicky sweet oil on the elderly woman to my right. She was bald and wore a turban. Round in the middle, her limbs were thin, baggy, brown, and wrinkled.

There were two women beyond her. They had five boys. The oiled woman left and suddenly I could hear one woman. She talked continually. "He said, so she said, and I said, so he said..." The space to my left opened up when the woman with her three pre-teens left. A boy and twin blond girls, "MOM! He spit in my mouth!" I moved into their space as soon as they packed up their 4 chairs, 3 inflatable rings, noodles, cooler, bags, and books. It started to clear out. So then two men and two boys came. They started a game of toss the tennis ball in the water in front of me, shouting loudly and splashing. The ball landed beside me and splattered me with water and sand. I moved again. A couple arrived. Long, thin, and pale. They had a sailboard. The husband was a retired professor from Northwestern, his wife a former student. He'd been sailing for 40 years. I know this because they were shouters. I moved again.

That's the pond. The water is nice. Sometimes there are too many people.

The ocean. Who can hear anyone? The waves are so loud. Plus the lobster fishing boats.

And there was plenty of space. Lots of sand. So why did the 3 slim gorgeous yackety teens settle 3 feet away from me? I moved. Plenty of room.

I like it when the nearest people are about the size of a penny. And I can't hear them. I like lots of space. And quiet.

So the ocean beach was good. Leaping fish, a porpoise, and lots of sand. Hot sun. Shockingly cold waves. 

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