they’re never really sad when you leave

Departing the dock at Lopez Island en route to Orcas: The mooring bumpers aren’t the same on either side in case you’re wrinkling your nose about what I did to the Rorschach-like scene. The swirling water and rugged bank around the terminal and especially the terminal itself (the road suspended in midair as it were) all piqued my interest. But most of all was the weird something I felt as the ferry worker turned her back and strolled nonchalantly in the other direction. It struck me as a fine how-do-you-do. Not very country. Isn’t watching the ferry set itself up for a reverse, one of the perks of the job? “At the end of the day, a job is a job”, you said. I wondered if she might be an old hippie from northern California who moved up to the island decades ago to check out all the way. Or maybe she’s lived on Lopez her entire life and it makes her nervous to see extra passengers on the boat compared to the old days.

On my way home from the school bus this morning, I admired one of my favorite small houses on our hillside perhaps for the last time. It’s headed for the demolition dumpster in a matter of days and I’m awfully sorry to see it go. It’s tucked into the hill such that it has always struck me as a shy place and should be home to a poet or librarian. A call-boy lived there for years, his sporadic coming-and-going at all hours used to drive me a bit nutty at times because he was the proud owner of a unique sports car that roared at 1 RPM. He was an exceedingly considerate driver to a fault and what I mean is once upon a time I contemplated leaving an anonymous note for him inquiring as to whether he could kindly floor it up our 21% grade and get things over with. And then one day, he wasn’t there anymore. And now that little place is going to be just gone.

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