Thursday, November 13, 2008

Snapshot: Marsh in Fog, Evening

Shem Creek. Short fishing pier, unfrequented. 6 p.m. The dark comes early now. Quiet but for the soft whrrr of heat pumps, the faraway sound of traffic, but all that muffled tonight by a light, warm fog. Someone's streetlamp visible half a mile away over pier or boathouse, but beyond that, the condos and hotel normally visible are shrouded. A tall crystal glass of some Aussie Cab/Merlot silhouetted against the grey. A conversation of canines across the creek. Mine rests silent at my feet. She likes the pier, I think--accustomed now to coming here, sometimes only to look out across the water and marsh grass and retreat, and sometimes, like tonight, to pause for a while. To listen to the occasional splash of something alive in the marsh. To allow the breeze, heavy with the weight of the fog to caress us. The crickets to stroke our ears.

I'm learning this place. Tides. So high this morning that I could almost reach down and touch the surface. So, to the chart: +6.9 feet, it says. Then +7.0 tomorrow, before a steady regression to more normal depths. Pull of the full moon.

Fog horn this morning on waking and again now. Took a while to believe it was what it sounded like. No idea where. Something else to learn. Less than three miles to the harbor from here.

Cigar tonight perhaps. Later. After dinner, some Addison, some Steele, a little Swift, and the ever pressing paperwork. Mentally recapping the day leading up to this quiet. Solitary office hours this morning. The afternoon at the Air Force base. Retiree ID card, finally. Register for TriCare Prime. Learn what it is to pay for my health care--a pittance really, compared to anyone else, but after so long at no cost, one more reality check. Ready to be done with that life, but not ready for this.

Walking back in, a conversation of fog horns in differing pitch, like a hearing test for the wide wet world. I press the button.