Maine Travelogue Day Two/One Revisited: Lake Consequence
"When we remember that we are all mad, the mysteries disappear and life stands explained." Mark Twain
According to the Amazon, in the three years she's known me, she has never seen me drink like I did that night. As a result, the events of that evening have been pieced together from fuzzy pieces of memory, deduction, and what others have told me.
At first, the wine and the grilled burgers made me feel better, although I was still upset. But as alcohol content in bloodstream increased, I became more vocal about my rage towards CQ. The Amazon kept trying to shush me, "He's right there" she said. I didn't care. I had spent the entire day trying to manage my anxiety about the trip, the bickering couple, the rage about the baby talk. I had been trying to be sensitive to the needs of the group and trying to keep the peace.
And I was tired of it.
And I told them all so. Unfortunately, as much as I love the Amazon, she doesn't know when to simply leave me alone. And like so many nights with the Amazon, she ended up reducing me to tears. Hysterics actually because I couldn't explain to them why I was so upset. Partially because they refused to hear me. There is no logic to emotions. You feel the way you feel and any attempt to "reason" a person out of a feeeling is sure to end in failure. And strangely, despite my love of the Marmot and the Model, the person in whom I sough protection from the "don't feel bad, it's not a big deal" harangues was Prufrock. The only person who simply offered his protection. I hid under his arm until I was suitably drunk and tired. Because of a flight delay, some of the camp owner's friends were stranded in NY, and there was a free room in the basement of the Main House. Prufrock gave me a shirt to sleep in, and I crashed in the bedroom.
Well, not really a room, but a wine cellar with a bed in it.
I slept late the next day, partially because I was exhausted from the day before, but really because I did not want to return to the pack. Lord knows what couple-y things they were up to now. I waited until I thought it would be safe to return, safe as in I would alone, not having to justify my emotional responses or having to curb my rage, but free to explore the camp as I chose.
As I walked across the grass, the Model was telling the story of what had happened the night before between her and the Tough Guy in front of the Infirmary.
It seems that while I was weeping into my wine, the Tough Guy had bet one of the female counselors 100 dollars she wouldn't jump in the lake. She had done it and then come up to us with her thick accent proclaiming, "Some asshole just paid me 100 dollars to jump in the lake." When the Model realized it was her boyfriend and that he was so drunk he was making an ass of himself, she was furious. Her anger set him off on a drunken rage, where he started to threaten to hit some of the male counselors with baseballs. The Model was deployed to talk him down, but in the end it was Big Bad who helped the Tough Guy cool down. When the night was over, and the Camp Owner brought out cases of bottled water for all the guests, Tough Guy had taken two. He was walking in front of the Model with a bottle in each hand, when he fell. Because he was drunk, he didn't let go of the water to break his fall and as result landed on his face and slid.
The Model was re-enacting his fall, but there was an edge to her story. She kept calling him Asswipe, and there was definitely an undercurrent of hostility. The Tough Guy, appropriately cowed by the story, asked if she wanted to go with him in the canoe. She refused. CQ, however, was all for it, and they headed to the lake together. Big Bad, the Model, and I sat on the porch listening to music, smoking, and just enjoying the day. The Model and I decided to take the peddle boat out. I had some trepidation about this because my lower body strength is poor, and I didn't want to end up stranded in the middle of the lake. We hadn't paddled far when Big Bad came out. We invited him to join us. After several configurations and near capsizes, we figured out if Big Bad and the Model paddled in the front, and I sat behind the Model with my feet in the water our weights balanced out. I sat with my feet in the fresh water, jeans rolled up, like Huck Finn.
The Model talked about her relationship with the Tough Guy. The Model claimed that he didn't realize that she couldn't enjoy herself, couldn't let her hair down because she had to follow him around and take care of him. And she wanted to enjoy herself. Now perhaps my re-action has to do with my personal history, but all I could think of was my mother-spending all those years of her life trying to help my father-trying to control his paranoid delusions, his alcoholism, his heart condition-and failing. All that time and effort, all those nights of tears and pleading, the hospitalization, the psychiatrists, the counselors, and for what? At the end of it, she should have saved herself. And still after all he had done to her after the divorce, trying to sue her three times, trying to destroy her reputation through rumors, trying to blame his impending death on her-even after all this time, after all the things I've told her about him because she didn't see him at the end-didn't know now crazy he really became-that I started carrying a knife whenever I had to see him because his behavior was so erratic I feared for my own safety-even after all of that she loves him still. She still loves my dead crazy father. And I don't want that to happen to the Model. I don't want to have to watch another person I love go through that. But unlike my mother, I don't try to save anyone. I'm no superhero. I have enough trouble trying to save myself. Besides, as my father taught me, some people don't want to be saved in which case your better off directing your energies elsewhere.
I sat with my feet in the water. Silently. Because the last thing she wants to hear is that story. She wants for me tell her that there is hope. That things will change. That the power of love will bring them both through this. And sometimes it is true.
We just drifted in the water. Occassionally, we could see the Tough Guy and CQ paddling away.
After some time passed, we went back to shore. The Amazon and Big bad decided to go into town and go shopping, while the Tough Guy wanted to go take pictures from the local golf course which promised beautiful views of the town. The Model would barely even say no to his invitation to her, but CQ happily jumped into the car with him. She and I stayed behind listening to music and taking a brief nap before everyone returned to the Main house for our surf and turf dinner.
Bad Bunni posted at 6/15/2006 04:07:00 PM
A Day at the Beach: Top of the World, Ma, Top of the World
I'm taking just one day off of the Maine travelogue to blog about yesterday's little trip to the beach. The girl gang (the Model, Alice, Film Freak, and myself) were supposed to go to Coney Island last weekend, but the weather did not cooperate. This Sunday, however, we were able to go.
I've lived in NYC for 12 years and only went to Brighton Beach for the first time last year because when you travel alone, going to the beach is a serious drag. You can't leave anyone to guard your spot or your beach bag if you want to go in the water or walk on the beach. And so I just decided rather than go and be frustrated by my solitude in a different environment, I would just stay in the places where I could be more easily and comfortably annoyed.
When I was a child, my parents used to take me to Martha's Vineyard. We would spend our days at the beach. I would search for shells, stones, and sea glass, build sandcastles, play in the water, ponder the occassional jelly fish that woud beach itself. I like the beach, miss it, and so I was happy when Film Freak organized this little outing.
We arrived about 12:30. As we walked towards the water, we could hear the barker for Shoot the Freak calling out, "Five years, five years of shooting freaks and getting away with it." I knew this was my kind of place. We set up our towels on the sand. Film Freak and I played in the water, posed for pictures with a seagull ( Thank you Anton Chekhov, for all the good memories), and briefly lay on the sand until my friends got the brilliant idea to bury me in the sand. Now a normal person would think, "Hey, I'm fully dressed. Not a good idea." Whereas I weighted the amusement the process and the pictures will afford for years to come vs some mild discomfort.
You know what I picked.
So I got completely buried in sand. My friends then proceeded to stick an unlit cigarette in my mouth and hold a regular photo shoot. Pictures of me buried up to my neck in sand with the Wonder Wheel in the background, without it in the background, with them sitting on my back, with bunny ears on my head. I found the weight and the cool sand rather relaxing actually.
While I was buried a family pulled up a blanket. Two young girls, a boy, and their mother. One of the girls was obese. In fact, she looked pregnant she had such a belly on her. The mother was abrasive and insulting, and I, along with gang, tried my best not to pay attention as I had been having fun playing in the surf and posing for pictures.
And I might have succeeded until I heard the mother berating the obese girl, "You're pathetic. This is all your fault. How could be so stupid? what the fuck is wrong with you?"
My father was always smart enough to keep that kind of behavior out of the public eye, but I remember those rants. One afternoon while vacation on Martha's Vineyard my father was yelling at my mother because Bloomingdale's made a mistake and apparently attempted to deliver their new bed on the wrong day. My father believed this was my mother's fault, although Bloomingdale's had already admitted it was a clerical error on the order form. How this was my mother's fault escaped me. It continues to defy my comprehension, and I made the mistake of trying to introduce logic into the argument when my father abruptly informed me that "Normal kids get in trouble and have bad grades. There something wrong with you. You're too fucking well behaved." Talk about hard to please. I got good grades and was well behaved because I thought it was a desirable thing to do only to find out it made me a freak even to my own family.
I slowly emerged from my sand pit, and luckily the girl gang decided it was time for to go on the rides. We hit them all-The Wonder Wheel, the Cyclone, the Polar Express, the Tilt-a-World, and the Thunderbolt. Alice remarked to me that it was like being five again. For me, it was having a day of the childhood that I had been robbed of all those years ago. After the Polar Express, Alice remarked that I looked like I had a night of really wild sex-my shirt all askew, my hair in all directions, but, of course, it was far better than sex. It was exhilirating and freeing. No men, no need for them, no bad come on lines or disappointment, no jealousy or gossip-just all of us, laughing, joking, and eating. Alice and Film Freak winning all of us little rings playing skeeball. The Model and I on the Wonder Wheel (as Alice and Film Freak were skittish) looking out at the beach, the Queens of the Beach. Top of the World, Ma, Top of the World.
Eventually, my legs and back began to ache from walking and standing, and the Model had to go to work. The moment I sat on the train I just wanted to fall asleep. Go home and have some manservant strip off my clothes, throw me in a bath, and then put me to bed. As it was, I managed to stay awake long enough to have a couple of cups of tea with the Model while we rehashed the day's events. I meandered home sure today that I would feel like I was hit by a bus, and even surer that it would all have been worth it.
Bad Bunni posted at 6/12/2006 01:44:00 PM