The truth is, it really smells badly down there, but they come anyway....in their summery cardigans. In their high-end vehicles, they hand keys casually, scarcely seeing, to one of the local valet boys with matching t-shirts and tans to envy. They come for the view, for the food, and to "be", but the truth is, it really smells badly down there. They pretend not to notice as they press their palms down the front of their slacks and tug at their waistlines before edging inside the restaurant in a fanfare of arrival.
It has always smelled badly there, my whole life, and there have always been visitors, many from away. I glance at the over-filled parking lot and imagine a scene 4 months from now, all but desolate....with the same stench and the same magnificent view.
The lobster boats in the harbour are quiet tonight, but at 3:30 or 4:00 a.m. their owners will be the new inhabitants of the parking lot. No valets, no lines, no cardigans or summery trousers; no fanfare other than the laugh and circling of the gulls and the grumbly burpy rumble of the lobster boats themselves. A different world, miles apart, within the span of 8 or 9 hours.
I ride my bicycle past the valet hubbub onto the pier. It is the ultimate dead-end of Pier Road-aptly named. I look over the edge to the water, and then notice a built-in bench beside me, much like the one I sat on to eat a drippy ice cream cone as a child before this location became "the" place to be...when the working wharf wasn't overshadowed by the latest dining hotspot, when the surrounding area homes were filled with fisherman's families scraping up the last of it to meet a monthly mortgage, rather than weekend travelers with gobs of money who purchased a lifestyle, many with cash.
I turn my camera away from the views to find my past....in lobster traps, caution signs, bait barrels, and scavenger gulls. I remember an uncle who made his living on these docks and whose maroon pick-up truck gradually rusted away from carting salty equipment, and from parking in proximity to the brine day after day, year after year. We'd ride in the back of the truck, no seat belts, to the pier to get an ice cream on a hot summer's night like this one. My uncle would jaw with the other fisherman hanging 'round using language locals joked made the tourists stare with dumbfounded expressions, and made my aunt move the children a bit farther from the fray.
It's not like that anymore. Just the smell remains. The bait smell; eternally present and unpleasant. The dried fluids staining the wharf's timbers; the blue plastic barrels marred with the residue. The smell they seem to ignore. I see no one I know; I am the outsider amongst the outsiders in this phony world.
I pedal away, there are other sights that the diners won't see, down dirt roads, through marsh grass lined paths, on side streets of modest homes. The locales with views of splendor are no longer accessible....cordoned off by gated drives, or blocked with over-sized homes....but there are treasures to find if you keep looking.
I wonder if my mind is dancing near depression or tasting brilliance as poems and phrases ride along with me. I see the church steeple bathed in setting sun and remember the moniker I earned as "world's best excuse maker" from Charlene Simpson during our weekly piano lessons under that steeple's shadow. Crumbled sheds, a delapidated New Englander, and frequently trash bins set out for tomorrow's collection remind me it's all a facade. People live no longer, cry no drier tears, find no better joys, have no finer children, die no easier, find no deepr meaning, take no more or fewer breaths whether they haved dined on lobster here or have brought it from the ocean's depths.
A door ajar teases. The truth is a door left ajar is always a tease....a question of what might be inside. In the sun it surely seems romantic, but in shadow more sinister thoughts arise. I think about the naked truth and wonder how it is so elusive yet so blatant at the same time.
A sun drenched door slightly ajar beckons, with single naked light bulb above.
The allure of the view....what we all want to see.
Colorful lobster buoys adorn the back stairway of the restaurant. My unlce's old buoy colors were black and red.
No valet parking required
The view from above....I got several odd looks from nearby view seekers....wondering why I was shooting down rather than out at the fabulous scenery. I like this shot.
There were just a few traps kicking around the pier. You can see the view of Goat Island Light in the far distance.
Wonder if anyone sits and eats ice cream here anymore.
Where the smell starts....notice the dried bait juices on the wooden planks. Sinus cleanser.
Fabulous view most visitors will never find.
Old storage shed...I liked the china plates displayed in the window.
View from across the harbour over-looking low tide clam flats.
Many a piano lesson taken in the building that supports this steeple.
Tired shed on side street. Sadly, out of sight in this shot, above the scant light bulb over the door....high-tech security cameras.
By the end of my bicycling-photo route this door, still ajar, lost much of it's allure and became more eerie and mysterious.
Thank you for stopping by to hear my ramblings on "times, they are a changing". Guess I'm kind of sick of being a working girl while all the folks from away are playing of vacation. Please stop by again and see what my rambling mind and wandering camera have to say.