Wednesday, December 2, 2009

half sunk

Yesterday the beach; today the harbor. I ventured out on foot in the late afternoon. And, no, that's not my boat, but it's a great name ... isn't it??

When people ask where I live in Newport, I give a very short answer: the middle. If you were to play pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey with a map of Newport, my neighborhood (if not my very home) would be the target.

That may sound uncomfortable if not unappealing — downright shi++y, if you ponder it too long (something I'm prone to doing). All I mean is that we're at the precise geographical and/or cartographical center, which may be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on your perspective. And by that I mean it can be quite busy in the middle of Newport (in the summer, anyway): traffic by day and drunks by night.

But if you like to be on foot and tend to enjoy a few drinks, what's better than that??

Being in the middle means I walkI'm one of those walkers. I walk to the mansions (not often, but every once in a while, as it's nice to dream), to the grocery store, the bank, the drug store, the liquor store, the dentist (not all walks are pleasant), the movies, the restaurants, the bars (much more pleasant), the beach, the harbor ...

And that's where I started, I guess. I was headed down the hill toward the harbor, where the North wind doth blow, i.e., it was nippy. And I had decided to bring one of those Superfood juices in gross green to slurp along the way, as anything that color must be good for you. So, while the rest of the world was pulling into Starbucks on Thames for a hot, expensive cup of something-or-other, I was holding onto a cold plastic expensive bottle of — what is that stuff??

And without mittens!! But I haven't made much progress here. Barely two blocks from home ...

Quickly then (and I was moving quickly, as I was cold): I was weaving my way through Queen Anne Square beside Starbucks (all the while wishing for Starbucks) when I heard some squawking. I looked around then upward, where the sound led ears then eyes, just in time to see two huge crows dive-bombing one another as they duked it out for the highest-profile perch in town: the gold weather vane atop Trinity Church.

And that reminded me how I never never see crows in summer and always always see them in winter. They move in when the summer is over, when the rents go down. That's all I can think ... that they're the lowly locals who lie low during the summer season, until their season arrives. In any case, they're a bit of a mystery, a puzzle.

So I watched them for a while — thinking someone could have a field day with symbolic implications, and that it was really very ominous — and neither crow would give it up, although at long last they both gave it up or flew off in search of a more comfortable spot and/or mission ... as did I.

I ended up at the base of the Newport Bridge — I never know where I'm going to end up — and there I sat on a chilly park bench. The sun was setting; it was glorious. And that finally made me feel warm (though the bench, in fact, was freezing). And I forgot to take a picture, but the Newport Bridge — the Claiborne Pell Bridge, officially — is sufficiently iconic that great photos are easy to come by, especially sunset photos.

I'm lousy at sunset photos; I've never figured them out. That one I just slipped you on the sly (click on "sunset photos" above) is far better than mine ever dreamed of being.

Besides, I'm more attuned to errant crows and well-named boats in winter coats and half-sunk dinghies in urgent need of a bucket ...