There's something about this town, everyone will tell you. It's the smell of the salty ocean, the sound of fog horns, the ducks sunbathing in Eel Pond, the boozy bread pudding from Pie in the Sky. I could go on forever, but instead I decided to share with you little distinct moments-- things I see, hear, experience, etc, living in Woods Hole......
1. At the library, there is an old man in corduroys and suspenders who comes in to use the outdated Dell computer for $.50 cents an hour. He only uses his meaty index fingers to type, and he bangs on the keyboard. He seems to be in a constant state of fury and frustration—whatever he does on the computer is urgent and serious, and loud. When the hour is up, he pushes back his chair, walks to the librarian’s desk, and fishes out two quarters from his pocket.
2. I bike to the grocery store once a week. Most of the ride is along a stretch of breezy beach. At the check out, a baby-faced teenaged employee leaps to bag my groceries. He knows me now, and he knows that I need all my groceries in one paper bag. I buy plenty of things, and he loves the challenge. He says it’s like a puzzle. He works seriously, laying out all my items first, asking me what a small head of radicchio is used for. I tell him I like to eat it grilled, in a salad, with blue cheese. Woah, he says.
3. Every morning at around 11, two elderly women with hunched backs and puffs of curly, white hair walk down my street. They are old friends, it seems, and one of them has a miniature, hairless greyhound. It walks gingerly, with great effort, and sniffs everything with an air of disinterest. It’s name, for whatever reason, is Guapa. And every morning I can hear the women call its name. They practically yell it, like they are chasing after a boisterous toddler. “Guapa!” They announce. “Come here, Guapa! Are you sniffing, Guapa? Are you going to Pee pee, Guapa?!” For the ten minutes I can hear them on my street, I cannot get any writing done. I give up, make a cup of coffee, and just listen.
4. Lastly, there are two harbor seals in a round tank outside the aquarium, just around the corner from town. They are put out there for tourist entertainment- in the summer, they balance a beach ball on their nose, and leap to catch herring. But all winter and spring, they are off their entertainment duties, and they aimlessly circle the tank, an inflatable ball bouncing lightly on the surface. I swing by often to watch them, and when I do, one of them always stops swimming to check me out, and then he does something funny. Pressed up against the side of the tank, generally in the same spot, he lifts his head straight out of the water and tilts it back, looking straight up, towards the sky, his breath knocking droplets of water off his whiskers. He just stays there. He doesn’t look at me, he looks at the sky. And then I look up too, and when I look back at him, he’s still looking up, so I look up again, and we do this for awhile. He's my friend :)
And here are some photos I've snapped around town:
Hope everyone's off to a good Monday.
(top photo from Wit + Delight)
(top photo from Wit + Delight)