Wednesday, December 30, 2009

It's all coming back to me now

Many years ago, as Peggy and I strolled along the beach in scenic Ocean City, Maryland, one of the flip-flops I was wearing was rudely yanked off my left foot by a surging tide that seemed not to care what it churned up as it rolled majestically landward. (Sorry for the dramatics; I gave Peggy a book of Truman Capote's short stories and I guess I was paying him tribute there.) (Yes, he did just roll over in his grave.) Anyway, to get back to the story, I figured that would be the last I would see of that flip-flop. We continued walking, Peggy with her usual grace, and me in the sort of ducky gait that only a man wearing one flip-flop can manage, and at length we turned back. It was dark - really dark - and for once I was carrying no flashlight. When we got back up to where we had started walking, I almost tripped over something on the beach. It was my flip-flop, recently returned from Davy Jones's locker (too big for the diminutive Monkee.)

The Saturday before last, when I had to report to work for the snow emergency, I, as usual, packed just a little less than Hannibal did when preparing for his alpine journey - and I had no elephant to carry my gear! I put extras of this and that into a huge bag and off I went. When I came home, I was putting the equipment - hats, gloves, flashlight, cans of soup, the usual emergency gear - away, and I came up short by one glove. Then for the next 10 days, I had to deal with the issue of the remaining glove. Having searched the truck and other places it might have been, I was about to toss out the odd glove. Then on Monday, coming home from work, I found the glove frozen on the tundra that is currently our front yard, right where a huge pile of snow had been. I reckon I dropped it getting out of the truck when I came home that day, and it was covered by snow for all this time, and now that the snow piles are gone, here's that frozen leather glove.

Which reminds me of the Blizzard of '03, when I crazily put out a blue bag of recycling - bottles, cans, plastics. That bag was covered in February by a snowpile the approximate size of Brattleboro, Vermont, and when I next saw it, it was just around Opening Day for baseball. I felt like the archeologists who found that frozen guy Ötzi in a glacier. Except that Ötzi left behind no empty National Bohemian cans or Skippy jars. Most scholars agree that he was in fact on a B double E double R UN.

And here's the strangest one of them all, and yet it totally lacks veracity. Not long after we were married, Peggy and I went fishing at Loch Raven, and somehow the diamond came out of her ring and fell into the water. Well, we fished (!) around as much as could, looking for the precious stone, only to give up as both nightfall and the game warden descended. For weeks and weeks, Peggy was disconsolate, and finally, to cheer her up, I said, "Let's go out for a nice dinner." We went to a local beanery and Peggy ordered fish, and when she cut into that fish, what do you think was inside of it?


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