Sandy Watiff Off-Season
Waffle Breakfast Bickering
Trees: the Forrest and the Woods
Facing the Challenge
Travel Portrait 15
Sandy Watiff Off-Season: Part 3
July 13, 2008 [listen]
I. The Landing
"What'd ye be doing here!?!"
"Me be trespassing here, dear sir."
The man's demeanor did not like-minded the well-slept pleasantry
of my dusk face. Boiling red was his twlighting glower as
tinted by my here and now, or by his lobstering?
"Oh, trespassing here is well established," agreed
the lobsterman. "And I repeat, what'd ye be doing here,"
he scowled waving some kind of sickle-looking equipment
before my face.
"Here be I," handing him my papers that consisted
of the downloaded directions to the cottage, the rental
documentation, and the tourist brochures.
The lobsterman read through the downloaded directions,
then scanned the rental documentation, then skipped over
the tourist information.
"From point of origin to the final destination, those
directions are fairly accurate," I explained, "to
the tenth of a mile." I continued, "But the landmark
descriptions detailed in the rental documentation were more
or less not useful because I was blinded by the darkness
of the night..."
The lobsterman's lower lip tremored as his scowl softened.
For he had become more preoccupied by his instinctual memory:
that he could calibrate the distance of a gull gliding across
the sea just by keen glance and his body's ability to know
the knots of the wind. He was also a Meerman, I imagined,
not a mere mortal such as this lubber. He was probably conceived
on the sea, born at sea, breastfed the sea (as far as I
could tell by the callus on his upper lip). He probably
possessed an innate skill for navigation during the daytime,
and probably a similar capacity as a specter sailor.
"...There was a light yonder at that house, but no
road, so I decided to conk-out, dock here until the morn.
You might have heard my son honking the horn guiding me
back to this stealth vessel as I should not have ventured
off on foot to investigate the area--me being the captain."
I pointed to the blanketed bundle behind me in the booster
"My apologies if me disturbed your peace.... That's
the thing about directions, they're only good if you know
where you are going."
"These are piss-poor directions laddie,"
confirmed the lobsterman trying to suppress his chuckle
as he attempted to intricately describe the cottage's location
as being right over there.
"What you need to do is to go out here and..."
I tried to pay attention as he pointed to the cottage,
which was just down the hill, but my mind wandered upon
hearing the words "piss-poor." Embarrassed, I
wondered if my "landmarking" reputation preceded
me, and if so, my, how quickly word travels around here.
"... If you have crossed the bridge, then you have
gone too far. Good luck to you," concluded the lobsterman
as he returned to me my papers.
"Farewell," I bade, starting the car and driving
I, as me, crossed the bridge--gone too far, I know. At
my wit's limits, I phoned the cottage's owner, who stated
that I was to take the "first left after the bridge,
the gravel path that passes for a road. Go slow."
I drove slowly, groggily across the bridge. Then I saw
her, the birdie, the tour docent.
"This is the place," she cawed before taking
The cottage, the bay, the trees--I did not realize until
I parked the car and looked at my rental documentation that
I had landed--finally.
My son was still asleep as still as the sounds surrounding
The moon had since settled. I got out of the car to investigate
I approached the cottage,
opened the porch screen door,
found the key that would grant me high-security
access for the week.
Once inside the cottage,
I walked through all the rooms,
recalling the refund policy.
I phoned the owner,
and I described to her what I was seeing.
"This is a neat place, right?"
"Indeed this is the place," I flabbergasted.
"You'll meet the cottage's overseer later in the day,"
"I'll speed-dial you if there is any problem."
She and I spoke to each other never again.