Thursday, June 13, 2013

a different kind of p-town

we dropped mindy's dad off to play a round of golf this morning, then headed to south portland to go to fort williams park and check out the lighthouses and the cliffs and sea at casco bay.  it is quite a majestic place, you can almost hear fionn regan playing through the washing waves and drifting clouds.

i always get too excited at places like this.  forget a trail and heights be damned, i've got to be where is calling my feet to be.  i climbed down the rocks and onto the battered shoreline.  i dipped my fingers into the rushing water and tossed a few rocks around while mindy and her mother watched from 60 feet above, surely shitting bricks at my lack of self-concern.  but no worries, i've made enough climbing mistakes in my life not to do anything too stupid.

i sat on the edge of the cliff and sketched some of the scenery, my legs dangling off the edge.  the salty smell of the sea pulls out only memories for me, rushing in with each deep breath.  coming from the midwest, where the overarching stinks include hog shit, diesel fumes, morning dew on mowed grass, ragweed, and the allergenic like, the ocean sits in my memory like the smell of my grandmother's elizabeth arden red door perfume.  stuck there, pulling experiences from the past from the depths of where i've been and never gone.  it makes me feel tiny, but not insignificant.  i always love that feeling.

we ate a delicious lunch from a food cart perched at the top of the hill.  we split a couple of lobster rolls, cucumber/blueberry/corn salads and root beers, all of which were top notch delicious, then drove to pick up mindy's dad from his game of golf.  mindy's dad is a great golfer, probably good enough to play and actually compete on the PGA Master's tour if he really wanted to.  playing with shitty rented clubs he destroyed the challenging course at sable oaks.

after we returned and all took a short rest, we headed back to j's oyster bar for our first full-on maine lobsters.  j's is quite wonderful really.  its a shithole dive of place, and i mean that with all kinds of admiration.  they sit in the touristy old port district, but i imagine that many tourists are turned off at the ramshackle hut of bar.  the food matches the place.  simple and un-fucked with.  perfectly delicious.  mindy and i like to eat our fare share of food that has been artfully arranged and painted with flavors in unexpected combinations.  but sometimes food can be like pottery, the best is in the basic, with no frills and fills to detract from what it is.  simply good.

*****aside*****i talked to my mom today, and received some heartbreaking news.  my dad's cousin (i guess that makes him my 2nd cousin), nate starbuck, died in a motorcycle accident over the weekend.  nate was a rather incredible guy who i hate to admit i know too little about.  i know that he lived life hard and full, through addictions and bad relationships, he had finally come to peace with life and gotten sober in the past decade.  he met a wonderful woman who gave him purpose and changed his world for the better.  i got to see him a few times in the past couple of years and his personality was just infectious.  a real man with real problems who found real solutions and discovered real happiness.  he died far far too young, but i feel like he died on the top of the hill after digging in the depths for most of his life.  RIP brother.

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