8. Intermission – end of summer 2011 – Cape Cod is dying
Irene has brought a strange devastation – there was no rain, only wind, cobbles went over the bike path, seaweeds were dragged by waves through muskrat’s nests a long way to the swan pond. A raging river went up-stream the herring path connecting ocean with the bay.
Plants and grass are not susceptible to mechanical damage, they shoud’ve recovered quickly. They should’ve but they didn’t, with thunders and waves Irene brought a deadly mist far into the shore. A mix of fog and sea salt. Coastal vegetation wasn’t prepared for this salt assault – it got burnt. It got brown. It got dead. The landscape became martian desert in an instant. People cleaned the paths and roads uphilling piles of sand, there was nothing they can do for the flora. Brown leaves, rotten rose hips fruits were left behind by receding waters.
Strangely enough this devastation prolonged the life of my Cape Code, a former magic place which has been gradually becoming too familiar, too close, too recognizable. For a mystical place there supposed to be a line between a first impression and the knowing of its inner mechanics.
The Cape started its existence when our camper came from Canada, long and silverfish reminding a school of fish.
It gave the Cape a nomadic sanctuary status, it allowed us to bring all the modern gadgets to the breaking waves, it let us open windows to the ocean’s horizon, watch yachts and listen to seagulls from its aluminum shell.
Rooted settlers gave us shelter during nights, oceanographers gave us a place during days.
Oceanographers are very mighty magnificent creatures, dazzling and slick, they can even fight Authorities.
For all the real nomads drawing sacred polygons and dragonfly wings on the bluish horizon,
for strange nomads driving threadbare black Jaguars circa 1963 whistling “obladi oblada“
, and even for over-civilized nomads like us, dragging along all the achievements of modern society to the beach. Nomads like me bringing coffemakers, so we can drink freshly brewed java in the breeze,
bringing laptops so I can make a version of a great three-piece coordinate motion machine of Sir Penrose, bringing a mifi so I can send it to Great Britain to be materialized, bringing dvd so I can watch Ellen Page and Joseph Gordon-Levittwalking on the Maurits Escher infinite staircase.
Oceanographers stopped the spread of fees, dog prohibitions and grey asphalt, they left all the original potholes to our enjoyment.
When I win a Nobel Prize for watching over clouds’s formations I will buy all the potholes and cover them with
Brave Oceanographers didn’t let the smiley guards build their watch towers and prevent us from swimming with sea lions. I believe they are big and mighty as whales, they definitely have fins and fangs, and they hunt the Authorities in the open waters. They surround flocks of whining Authorities in packs and eat them alive. Of course they do not, they most likely wear lab coats and smoke cigarets in hallways, they surely don’t care about the great nomadic tribe of Cape Cod wilderness, they just need this last piece of ungoverned coastal land for their oceanographic experiments. This is what my point is all about. Until I meet one of them I can think whatever I want about oceanographers.
I am free to imagine that it’s them who painted “Summer people, some are not” on the bottom of a drawbridge during one long dark winter night. It gets very lonely in the freezing water so they sing summer songs, dive under the bridge and write these cheerful words on the cold frosted steel holding huge pens with their fangs.
I can pretend that it’s them who planted these strange objects around Woodshole.
A split apart planet of shiny chrome
A twisted Helical man figure sliced in pieces by samurai swords.
Even an excavator’s claw.
I never saw one, so I can rest assured that it’s them who tie blue nets with yellow ropes and fix their cracked piers with humongous iron wrenches. They are as cruel as hell.
The bearded sailors pull little sea monsters out of their blue nets, hold them tight in their big calloused hands, waiting until the hearts stop beating and throw them on the rocky beaches to decompose.
This is the way the magic works.
In this world I can easily offer them a ride in my beloved maroon car.
Cape Cod is rich.
It’s rich in textures and surfaces. One surface is everywhere – decaying grey cedar – the universal skin of the Cape. It is the rotting and reappearing Phoenix skin of Cape’s allies and roads. It dies, it falls apart and grows back again as lizards tail.
Another decaying matter is rusting iron. What can’t be rotten will be oxygenated to extinction by salty air of the sea.
But he biggest conundrum of all is what’s happening to rusty things which are still intact in this mysterious town of Woodshole. They disappear one by one. It seems there is a hiding steel-eating leviathan somewhere in a coastal grove swallowing them whole. First the Great Dodecahedron went into another world just a little short of a year after I found it. Who could’ve guessed that a broken down fallen apart crab would follow this extermination path? It disappeared during summer 2011, quietly went into the greener pastures.
He was probably the most important witness of the SPHD existence. His sticking up wide open eyes have seen too much…
Only the spider and the horseshoe tortoise are still there waiting for their fate. Very important is not to follow them otherwise the silent contract will be broken, the knowledge will trump in parading as a Great Alexander horse and break the rest of subtle magic.
destroying all we knew before,
let the bearded sailors fix their wharfs, let Oceanographers ride Duesenberg II Murphy Roadsters circa 1933.
Let Cape Code live in ignorance and stay beyond familiarity as long as possible.
Let it continuously resurrect from the ashes of knowledge.
Let it forever be the edge of Oikoumene.