I took myself to the beach and it was amazing. If my bills are any indication, I’ll be paying for it for a long time, but it was worth it to give myself a treat for working my tail off all the time.
One day, I’ll go with my love, I hope. Something about the expanse of the ocean and the fact that I can’t see beyond the horizon enchants.
I took more pictures of the ocean than anything else, really, while I was at Martha’s Vineyard, and it really was my only way of trying to capture what I loved and needed most about the salt water, the air, the sand under my feet.
It was novelty, yes, but more than that. I was writing about when I was little and Mom used to take me visit my brother in Atlantic City. We actually weren’t really there to see him as much as she wanted to gamble. (My Dad liked to gamble, too. One of my sisters thinks they probably met this way. Super romantic, I know.)
Anyway, she would leave me in the arcade for hours while she went on one of her gambling binges. I always ran out of quarters; I was not so good at video games. Manual dexterity is one of those things on my list re: self-improvement. So I was always done with the quarters she’d left me with before she was done spending money we didn’t really have, so I would step out of the weird box-shaped room with all the machines into a quiet hallway where I could see the ocean over the rickety-looking boardwalk.
The Atlantic has always drawn me in. It did when I was little and it did, again, this time, when I was north in Oak Bluffs. My sweet friends there have been married as long as I’ve been alive, and they seem to have found peace and quiet and productivity up there in the bluffs.
The birds are also happy. How they do it, I’ll never know. I mean, these birds are the happiest group of wildlife I’ve ever heard (They woke me each morning with their songs, and I noticed them: ospreys, blue jays, cardinals, high up in the trees.) The wind gusts made the trees sway in a dance.
We had salads with rich foods every night, and big helpings of ice cream. I left with a bag of salt water taffy and the damp pages of my memoir, which I’ve finished a draft of.
I think when I used to travel alone, I used to be more afraid than I was this time. The great thing about getting older, even when you’re single and you notice that many more people than you thought are in couples, is that there is a serenity that comes with maturity and solitude, both.