Shore People

For about two weeks I’d been in a writing fight with a particularly uncooperative song from yet another new project. This rarely happens, and in fact when it does it’s usually a sign that all is lost and it’s time to abort the mission. This one felt different, though – the parts that had permitted me to write them were kind of great. I just couldn’t work out the rest of them, or what order they needed to be in. Or something. In the meantime, I accepted an invitation to get out of Dodge and visit a friend for a few days. Kevin agreed to feed and take care of (read: nap with) The Cat-holes, which everyone was sure to enjoy, so I packed a bag and skipped town.

A few short hours later, I stepped off the train and was met by my friend in the Hamptons. Well, one Hampton. (The east one.) He had rented a place for an off-season getaway – and let me tell you, this is definitely the time to go to The Hampton. Almost all of the Horrible People are gone, and you don’t have to wait in line to buy your $6-a-gallon gasoline.

Plus, you get to behold many wonders, like these clams.

We went beachcombing at Amagansett and on the bay, rode ferries to Shelter Island and Greenport, poked around Montauk (where, unbelievably, I’d never been, although you can see Block Island from it and I have been there), ate things and laughed a lot. I also managed to sleep like the wind – it was intense! – and recharge.

The night I got home, I sat down and took a look at the problem child I’d managed to evade for three days. “Oh,” I said right away. Obviously there was a word in the wrong place, the bridge and third verse needed to be switched, and a small section had to go. Then a quick rewrite of the second chorus. And…done. I recorded it the next day and sent it to my collaborator, who promptly flipped out (in the good way). There. Now I was free to begin panicking in earnest about my impending road test (which I’m guessing a number of you expected me to write about today. Rest assured it’s coming; it’s quite an epic. I will tell you that it stars George the Nearly Incomprehensible Driving Instructor from Another Land, who enjoys telling cryptic, fragmentary stories while I’m trying not to run over people. Here’s a sample exchange, featuring one of George’s tales in its entirety:

GEORGE: So get this. Sometimes, she just puts a piece of paper on it! (He snickers, clearly amused.)

ME (for the thirteenth time in about seven minutes): Who, George.

GEORGE: The female instructor! (More snickering.)

ME: Hah. Good one, George.

Still processing that adventure. Tune in next week).

So if you’re feeling stuck or otherwise uninspired, and it isn’t snowing by the time you read this, I recommend a quick, off-season jaunt to The Hampton of your choice. But my friend left already, so you’ll need to find your own accommodations. Oh, and I ate all the clams.

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One Response to Shore People

  1. V. Hansmann says:

    Good one, Michael.

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