Monday, January 18, 2010

good morning

It's windy this morning — really windy. Wet, too. Thus my first decision of the day (where to get coffee) was hampered by considerations of weather, as I tend to set off on foot. Making coffee at home, for myself, by myself, is just too darn bleak ... not a great way to kick off the week. And there are at least six spots within six blocks where someone will take my two dollars — gladly — and say "good morning" in a cheerful or faux-cheerful voice. I'm not picky. About coffee either; any cup will do.

Just for the record: Mr. Betty probably said "good morning" (in a sleepy voice) when he left in pre-dawn darkness for a business trip ... but I didn't hear him, or don't remember, still asleep, or trying. And the kids said "good night" last night, via cell phones, from various remote locations, but I can hardly bother them again this morning for a "good morning" — even though on thousands of mornings I got them up and out to school or summer jobs or babysitting gigs or wherever-they-needed-to-go in the morning. Good mornings ... even if I/we didn't always think so at the time.

So, hmmm, that begs the question: Do I habitually rush out the door for a cup of coffee, that rush ... or for the rush of someone/anyone saying "good morning"?? Both, I guess. And/or more. For whatever reason, heading out the door — this morning, most mornings — with my favorite, ergodynamic, burnt-orange-and-stainless-steel coffee cup in hand is a great pleasure. And thinking "Where shall I go today?" is another pleasure. It may be the neighborhood; I do love the neighborhood. It may be the cute dog I may meet (did meet) and pat along the way, who may even (did even) give me a lick. It may be the luxury of someone filling my cup as some sort of reward for filling all those sippy cups and glasses of milk over the years. And I don't frequent any one place; I just go (need to go). Anywhere. To get myself out the door. Goodness, I'm way off track here ... going/blowing nowhere ...

But since I started with wind, which connotes waves, which connote storms, I will say that Newport — particularly the roads, particularly Ocean Drive — takes a beating in winter. It's not unusual for water and rocks (surprisingly large rocks) and seaweed, and whatever else comes ashore, to wash over that exposed stretch beyond Brenton Point. It's not a gentle process, as evidenced by trashed sea walls, not to mention the crashes continually carving the shore. It's a wonder some of those impressive, set-on-stone homes withstand the forces.

Yet, even in winter — on calmer mornings, when the wind dies/lies down — those soft, weirdly-floating (strangely-encouraging??) mirages appear, to the south but too far east to be Block Island. I suppose they're boats or tankers steaming purposefully west-to-east across the Atlantic ... or to Martha's Vineyard or Nantucket (in winter??) ... or to the Cape Cod Canal and points north ... or perhaps east-to-west toward Connecticut or New York. Who knows??

All I know — for the moment — is that coffee is good. Mmmm ... a fine partner to "hmmm." It propels me as an event, on this and other bluer-sky mornings, wherever I sit with my cup, for whatever reason, in whichever direction from home, no matter who says "good morning" ...