I am out on the deck with Joyce and Bryant. My mother is accusing me of having gotten too much sun. She says it like I am hiking my skirt up. I consider this woman before me. There is a large spot on her shirt. I am not going to mention this to her. I have seen paraplegics in eldercare spill less on their clothing. I have just mentally decided to buy her a bib for her next birthday. Something tacky with the word “Princess” on it. I’ll wrap it in a St. John Knit box. Won’t she be surprised?
She is still inspecting my forehead for skin cancer over her wineglass. She has to be jewish. But she can’t cook. The woman is a mystery.
Since my father and Bryant are having a lengthy conversation about quantum physics directly in front of us, she has gone back to her corner with her kindle. She was ‘bored- away’ - ahh, the power of physics. Actually now the conversation has moved to genetically engineered crops.
Joyce waited for a lull in the conversation to promote the book she is currently reading. I would want this type of guerilla marketing if it was a book I had written - but I haven’t written this book. You would think that one of her children had written this book the way she is pushing it. Everything is directly related to the story she is reading. Politics, love, cheese, dust, toilet paper, chinese people, japanese people, humor, crackers, skin cancer ... all of it. You should be reading this book! She has said the name of this book about 324 times but my internal sense of humor has muted the name every time.
Bryant and dad are now on to the IMF rape case. It’s NYT vs Drudge Report. The insults are flying.
Dad - “well I know you like getting your news from bubble gum wrappers. But the NYT has reported that ...” (insert large conductor like arm movements.)
Bryant - “well they are going for character defamation of this woman.”
Mom - “Chinese women have to deal with this sort of thing all the time. Their struggle is amazing. You should read this book (waving of kindle).”
Dad - “Drink your wine Joyce. The man should be shot alongside Bernie Madoff. Let’s get one of those guys from the Top Gun show and see if they can get them both with one bullet. Line’em up.”
Seamus is inside watching Iron Man 2 on the ipad. I have just been bitten on the inner thigh by a son of a bitch mf mosquito tanker causing an interpretive ballet spasm. Bollocks.
Yesterday the island had their fireworks display. Word had it that some local company had saved up for two years to afford the show being put on. That struck me as pretty cool. We pulled into the Lobster Co-Op’s dirt parking lot at about sundown and tried to figure out which way to face. We had been told that the launch site would be from one of the tiny freckle islands inside the harbor. That did not help triangulate it’s location. So we just watched the arriving pick-up trucks and noted which direction they set up their lawn chairs and old people.
Well the show was fantastic. It went on for at least a half hour but seemed much more like 45 minutes. What made this show different than others I had seen was the proximity to danger. Early into the show - while smiling daftly up into the multicolored sky - I was pelted in the face with falling explosive debris. This caused my smile to change... it always changes slightly when math becomes involved. Everyone was having the same experience around me. Women were reaching into their own tops to pull charred cardboard from their cleavage. A father patted a smoldering ember off his toddlers hair wordlessly.
It seemed that what the investment had bought in fireworks - they had saved in propellant. These fireworks were going off 50 feet in the air. They were the kind of fireworks that should have been going off 300 feet in the air.
Oh how exciting it was to have such a delightful seat for “The Great Vinalhaven Fire of 2011”. The fire where the town Ferry was the first to be engulfed in the flames - blocking the harbor exit and then killing every worthy ship captain partying aboard boats within the harbor... too drunk to see it coming. Exciting indeed.
This morning we all went down to the Vinalhaven 4th of July Parade (this event happened only because the town escaped the fire of the night before and it was technically the 4th. So what the hell). It started at 11 am. I had bought many tacky things for our group to wear and after surprisingly little persuasion - they were fully adorned and we headed “downtown” (<< that was a joke. It may need pointing out. The place is small.) We did not pass a car on the 12 minute ride in to town which prompted some questioning about if we had the time right. Or the date. There was some concern that it might actually be July 7th and we were about to arrive on the scene looking like asses. But we were saved. Once we arrived “downtown” we were surrounded by all humans belonging to the island of Vinalhaven. Relief.
Current conversation update -
dad - “Mother Theresa did not believe in God.”
mom - “Where the hell did you read that?”
dad - “Everywhere. I’m sure it will be in that stupid book of yours, even.”
Well the parade was wonderfully entertaining. At points it was outrageously political and at other points remarkably endearing.
And then there were the shriners.
The shriners were sober during this even. That should be noted. Which gives you a really good idea of what crazy people are like at 11am on the day of a national holiday. In the time that I witnessed their participation in the celebration they had almost run over three kids under the age of 8. It was so giddily frightening that I went from still photography to video immediately in hopes of catching the forthcoming incident for youtube posterity... and the coroner’s report. Click here for some video of these great men.
After the Shriner’s and three baseball teams, there were journalist’s walking holding signs reporting news items that might be reported in 2025. <blink> And then... just when we thought there was a slow end coming to the Vinalhaven 4th of July parade - something happened that warmed my heart. There was a flash mob. They all jumped out into the street - young and old - in front of the IGA grocery store and did a dance routine to Fleetwood Mac’s “Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow”. We were all nostalgically transported back at the 2008 DNC with banners promoting Clinton or Kennedy or something. And we were happy. If for no other reason than that we all knew the words to the song and everyone there had slept with someone else there - and we all knew about it.
Current conversation update -
We all like(d) Anwar Sadat. And his wife (some on the deck report that ‘she was hot.’)My father is relating a story about how he was with Bobby Knight in a hotel hallway trying to pass by Sadat’s suite and there were men with machine guns in the hallway. It seemed that their eyeballs dried out and they sobered slightly trying to pass. We are now in to a whole slew of ‘who has the most intimidating entourage’ stories. (Some unknown African group has won.) Now we are on to Gerry Adams and Sinn Fein. This will not end well. Especially with our families Chicago contingent arriving on the first boat tomorrow.
I should let Seamus know that I signed him up for Farm Camp. On another island. He’ll be delighted.