The most irascible aspect of growing up is the zero spontaneity. If at any time in my 20’s I wanted to leave town, catch a last minute flight, hop a train to Montauk, I would be sitting on the beach by 10:11AM with a towel, a bottle of Stoli, covering myself with all the books I haven’t yet read, toiling away in the sun.
When I first moved into the house where the backyard looked out upon this island I had a pang of desire not unlike an older married man having a crush on a younger girl. My family didn’t have any sort of floating device and most of my non-school time would be spent in the backyard, skipping through the grass, resting under the orange tree where I would get very quiet and very thoughtful and not let my feelings get the better of me. Sitting down, my back hunched, my elbows digging into my thighs my chin resting on two fists, I’d rally my thoughts so I wouldn’t have to rest my eyes on a place I’ll never go, a feeling I’ll never have, a loss I’ll never understand and be left by myself to horribly, horribly, grieve. Sometimes my eyes would go to the house on the left, with the jet-ski on davits. Other times right, with the sparkling blue pool. Eventually. When all was lost. When I could fight no more. When my egg-shaped heart could no longer bear the urge. First to look, but then to dream. To focus so hard I wouldn’t know if I was on the glorious island dreaming I was sitting under an orange tree.

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