So, this morning I’m up at the butt crack of dawn. I linger in bed and then, at 7:30 I decide, instead of sitting at my kitchen table and writing, I would walk down to the beach, sit on a bench and write my little heart out onto 3 pages. My ritual (the writing part).
The sun was half risen, the runners were out; their breath foggy and their ponytails bouncy, and the SUV’s were pulling out of driveways along Pequot avenue like diving women in those 1940’s musicals. One after the other.
It was, in all manner – quite a normal morning in this abundantly cashed up enclave.
I approach the beach and the reflection of the sunrise on the water pulled my attention. In the parking lot there is a beefy looking guy in a plaid shirt, leaning against his pick up truck drinking a take-out coffee and watching the sunrise. He barely glanced my way as I walked past.
A little ways down from the plaid shirt trucker, there was a woman in a black leather jacket cleaning out her car. The doors were open and her speakers were blasting “Don’t, don’t you want me.” A little abrasive for this time of the morning, in this part of the county, but fairly innocuous so, I went with it and sat on the bench in front her car. It was the halfway point of the short beach and, besides, it looked like she was leaving.
I sat down to write. She started loading up the trash can near me and apologized for her loud music.
“Sorry, I’m leaving in a few minutes.” She yelled from the trash can, over the music.
“Oh, I’m fine, no worries.” I replied, and put my head down to write.
And then, it happened. The little sonar radar I put out for the crazies. I am sure I have some kind of device that was inserted in me at birth that gives off one of those silent signals that only the crazy can here. You know, like the silent mosquito repellent. Except, this isn’t a repellent. It’s an open invitation.
She walking toward me, her talking began. “I’ve just been here for 2 hours, my life is crazy. I’ve been balling my eyes out. I lost my mother in December and she was my best friend and I’m really missing her and I have this boyfriend who is 14 years younger than me and he still lives at home with his fucked up mother. He has bi-polar, you know? And fucking cunt of a mother left his father when he was 5 years old. Never let him see his dad and then his dad died and she married this ASSHOLE who sexually abused my boyfriend for years. I tell ya, I don’t need this shit”
“Wow. That’s a lot.”
“Yeah. I mean grief takes a long time for some people. You live around here?”
“Um. Yeah – just staying with a friend temporarily”
“Oh. Where ya from?”
“I’m from Australia.”
“Australia. Now that’s where I should go. I could go there now. With the money my mother left me, I could go anywhere.. Ya just visiting?”
“No, I live here. But, I travel a lot.”
“Oh, yeah? I used to travel a lot too. I used to be a Barbara Streisand impersonator and I traveled all over the place. Singapore, Vegas. On someone else’s dime thank god. It was great.”
She stood there. Her back to the wind, the sun peeking over her left shoulder, her matte black thick wiry hair was wrapping around her face and she had to turn toward the wind to smoke her electric cigarette. I looked for some resemblance of Babs, as she rambled on. Maybe her nose and her mouth carved a familiar shape. Perhaps, back in the day she pulled it off but now she just looked withered. i wanted to ask her to sing ‘Memories’, and I think she would have said yes, which would have made the scene even more brilliant and awkward but I know this type. I ask for an inch and she’ll give you a mile.
She wore a black leather jacket, big wire frame sunglasses and, besides the pen looking cigarette, she held onto a balled up orange scarf and a lottery ticket. The wind kept blowing her hair into her mouth, she kept turning to smoke her fake cigarette.
“Are you a musician?” She said.
“Yes, kind of.”
“Yeah I used to be a stand up comic and I wrote all my own stuff. It was great. I mean it’s all story. The more crazy your life is the more you have to write. You meet some crazy lady at the beach who unleashes on you about her life. Her dead mother and her fucked up boyfriend. I mean, that’s a story for ya right there.”
“What star sign are you?”
“I’m a Sagittarius. We’re the opposite. My ex boyfriend was a Gemini. You guys are creative. My boyfriends cunt of a mother is a Sagittarius. That’s why he chose me. She is only 7 years older than me. I’m 53.”
And she lifted her dark glasses to show me her tiny, charcoal heavy eyes and then continued.
“My name is Susan, by the way.”
“Nice to meet you Lyn. Yeah, his mother is a sagittarius and her name is Susan too. And she’s bi-polar. I’m bi-polar but on the lower end of the scale. I can manage it with nutrition. But, I told him he either has to get out of that house or I’ve had it with him. I spent a 1 year and half in jail because a’ him and his family. And my family too.”
“Yeah, she’s into Santa Ana witchcraft. Have you heard of that?”
“I’ve heard of witchcraft, but not santa ana.”
“They use chickens and shit. Use their blood and all kinds of weird, crazy shit. She put a curse on me. She didn’t tell me but I knew it. You know? I’ve got that divine intuition. I shoulda gone to divinity school. I helped a lot of those women out when I was in jail. But, I know she put a curse on me when my boyfriend was gonna live with me. We both got sick. Started throwing up one day and not just regular stuff. It was green. And then, she got sick. Cause ya can’t use that stuff for evil. If ya do it turns back on yer in a bad way. And she got it all right. She such a bitch.”
I wished my friend Aubrey were sitting next to me to witness this. I wish I had my phone to record it. As I was walking toward the beach that morning I kept saying my little prayer or affirmation or mantra…I’m never quite sure what it really is. But, I have been feeling a little congested in my head lately, a little too manic and needy and so I was just reminding myself to be patient, that’s it’s all happening and to be open to receiving what is in front of me. To take each day at time. Small steps. You know, that kind of self-talk.
And then I sat at that bench and I was gifted a story to write.
“Anyway, thanks for letting me vent. I’ve just been telling people. Being open and honest. It’s just like free therapy. I feel so much better. Have a great day.”
The last time I was at this beach a woman asked to make out with me. I was there at the ass end of night. That’s another story.