{June 20, 2013}   The Same But Not ~ A Tower Story ~ 5

Walking along the shoreline of Sunset Beach as the sun seemingly sinks into the ocean is a humbling experience.
It’s as if the entire sky is a canvas of shifting colors dripping down, down, and down, until there’s nothing left but a black background splattered with glittery specks of starlight.
Sunrises are just as magnificent.
It still amazes me that I have the privilege of being able to see both the rising and the setting of the sun from the same spot.
During the colder months of the year you’d expect the beach to be deserted like it is now, but it was kind of eerie this past summer without a soul around. Lonely too.
The beaches I was accustomed to in the before-times were always full of screaming kids firing stinging sand in your direction as they’d run toward the building waves only to turn tail and scamper away laughing when the curling foam crashed over their tiny toes.
The smell of salt water mixing with coconut scented sunblock filled the beach air while different radio stations fought loudly to be heard.
A hop skip and a jump away, you’d be on sensory overload between the fresh caramel popcorn and cotton candy smells blending with sausage sizzling away next to the best damn pizza in the world.
Your ears would nearly bleed from the amped up boardwalk sounds, the carousel calliope music of the merry go round a sharp contrast to old-school classic rock blaring from the direction of the roller coaster.
Underneath it all was the constant hum of families frantically squeezing every drop of fun they could out of their vacations and always, the sound of seagulls screeching.
2010-09-30 11.08.37 2010-09-30 11.13.20
The seagulls still screech, although there are a lot less around these days.
“Still plenty of fish in the sea though, right Mal?”
All those years of surf fishing as a child paid off. I tried to convince the Kid to come with me so I could teach him how to catch dinner but he stayed back at the tower with his nose in a book. I don’t know how he could see through that unruly mop on his head and I wish I’d stop thinking like some kind of parent, it was starting to freak me out.
Mal was stretched out on a large piece of driftwood staring down a seagull who’d landed on the other end.
He never bothered the gulls for some reason, I guess the feral cats down here got used to them quickly, maybe they had some kind of peace treaty going on. There was a lesson in there for the world governments only it was too late.
After hiding my fishing pole in the abandoned gift shop I scooped Mal up for the short walk back to the tower.
He knew he had a fish dinner coming up and he purred soft in my arms, the only sound other than the surf pounding the sand.
I never expected to miss noise.
Generally, I liked the quiet. I always had, and now it somehow made the end of the world as we knew it a bit easier to deal with, like I could pretend I was on my own private almost-island while the rest of the world went on around me, and it soothed me.
That soothing feeling usually lasted about five minutes.
I don’t regret leaving the citified part of my little state and making my way to the Atlantic Ocean.
The good old Fire Tower Museum was a perfect fortress.
The bed I’d put together at the very top of the tower wasn’t that bad either. I could literally see for miles when I was lying on that bed.
Although sometimes I had to fight with my spoiled cat-brat for the better view, Mal usually preferred to curl up by my feet.
On those extra chilly mornings, I’d awaken to find he’d crawled underneath the covers with me to steal my body heat but I didn’t mind, it was mutually beneficial.
Even with the addition of the Kid, temporary though it might be, the tower was big enough to give us our own space.
All in all, I couldn’t dream of a better place than the Victorian town of Cape May if I had to survive.
And oddly enough, I want to survive.
“Now if I could just convince you two cranky houseguests to get along,” I said to Mal as he stared at my mouth making words.
He let out a loud meow as he placed one paw, claws in, softly on my cheek.
“Sorry Mally, I mean our one cranky houseguest.”
He purred loud and long at that, satisfied with my answer as we walked up the ramp to the tower, dinner in hand.
To Be Continued


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