Some reason Choptank’s been on my mind, ever since the island this morning. Chop was Fall of 2008. I lived there in a house built in 1848. That winter I had to wear double long johns the whole time bc it cost too much to run the propane heat. I lived w a recent divorcee, a 60 something, I was just out of a six year relationship that had started while I was still just out of college. She was there only part of the time, bougie catering bits in Annapolis kept her over there plus the part time gig she did for the hospital there. We lived on the Choptank River.
It was the end of two years of elder women mentors in my life and I like to think this meant something, I saw it a harbinger on my path. Meeting Teena had felt like I arrived. She had this old drafty minimal spot, with an enclosed front porch with a couple antiques. She fed me there, kept me in warmth that is harder to acquire than just doubling up on clothes. Quaint is a word, if there is anything quaint about a 30 and a 60 year old woman hitting start again on their lives at the same time.
There was an outbuilding in the lot next door you couldn’t get into because the door was covered in wisteria that dangled its purply breath this time of year. And in front under a low hanging tree I never got the name of was a forsythia bush big enough to live in that shrouded the whole view of the back, where the dock and the river was, it hid an old fishing boat back there, long stuck in the lowland mud.
There were some neighbors, on drugs, a fella and his mom, and the young man and I spent an afternoon fishing off the docks. He tried to get me for some money and in another time of my life I would’ve taken the hustle because he had a way of talking that actually made it sound pretty good. Maybe it is that quality that makes decisions for me, for some of us, maybe it used to, maybe still it does? That surety landed with a certain twinkle in the eye. In any case all that happened was we fried that fresh dock fish up me and him and Teena did, and she provided the sides. Turkey neck and kale pot and pimento cheese dips, and a sort of soup that she claimed was Thai but in my memory she taught me to garnish with the same herbs and bean sprouts as you would for pho. We didn’t eat all of those things that night, more that’s a collage of the food story that plays out in my head when I have time enough to think, Teena… and back then.
Anyway the streets of the avenue where I now sit reminds me always of Laguna Beach. It’s like Kelly C brought me back, brought me here, to the slower beach city beaches, brought me here as if to say you can still languor about in a bougie haze. Which is spectacular indulgence for a still sometimes alley cat beach bum as me.
What I think about when I think about Chop is it was the first time I knew the wheel spoke, its spokes spoked me if you read the double meaning what I mean. It was Solstice, I saw the pic from it just now, I took my clothes off and took the most velvet of inky river dips.
Velvet speaking skein traipsing my skin again. Dark moon ending – soon – to – begin -harvest time, pink moon behind, still it is Spring~