James and I got a hold of some chemical fun and went to the beach! We took off mid-afternoon for the Maryland Atlantic, a short stretch of coastline with a boardwalk town (Ocean City) and a lovely park of an island called Assateague. Just south of Assateague is Chincoteague, which any decent horse-mad girl ought to be able to identify as the place of the wild horses. And yes, we saw horses. Lovely ones.
Before that, though, we gave into the usual impatience and made chemical hay once the sun was no longer shining. We walked from our long-distant motel room down to the boardwalk, passing through high-tide-covered streets and talking incessantly about issues of life and death. Literally, and in depth.
On the boardwalk, we shook off the heaviness and soaked up the strangeness of the bright lights to the left, deep dark to the right. The water drew me, but the walkway seemed uncrossable, the crowds foreign and familiar at the same time. Waves of human interaction passed us, or we passed them, and all of them rooted around in me for like desires, like motives. Some settled in and forced me to watch my aspect in another face, responding in my way to another person. Others bounced around like puppies but were forced out like splinters, too foreign to become a part of me. My favorites augmented me. They taught me how a human acts, reacts, behaves when that human is not me. These augmentations are the heart of what it means to be a storyteller, a writer who can examine the happenstance and stances of people unlike, but not unintelligible to, oneself.
The day after, we floated in the salt-womb of the ocean. My first Atlantic baptism, and a stirred up, life-filled body of water it seemed from off the Assateague Island beach. As green as a lake, as brown as a river, and bouyant with salt and happiness. My experience of the social east coast has been un-home-like, but the ocean, I recognized.