Saturday, September 7, 2013

Gloria's missing episode - Rented backrests and high spirits, a night out

As the afternoon of the doldrums, in the maritime sense and actually welcome, wore on, Gloria retreated perhaps two baby steps from her no-work proclamation.  Every pastry, every appetizer, every possibly desirable, edible morsel that could be found in the freezers was pulled, thawed, fluffed up,  packaged and offered as take-out.  Gloria had decided not to cook or bake anew but she was not going to disappoint Cove dwellers by having nothing available as part of their movie-viewing feast.  There would not be the box suppers of summers past but there would be something and she was not disappointed by the response.   Needing to be sure that all could be fed if they didn't pack suppers at home, she called to be sure the fish and chips shop could provide dinners for everyone - yes was the answer - and set to her preparations, staring in appreciation and wonder from time to time at her starfish shirt, trying to keep her mind on the task at hand.

And so it was that the citizens of Billington's Cove and their inland associates gathered on the soft and very green lawn of the neighborhood park Andy had created from his two vacant lots.  They brought blankets, rented beach backrests and dug into their purchased or home-packed dinners as dusk faded enough for the film to begin.  Gloria attended with Mr. Guscott and Mr. Apotienne, attired, as were most of the attendees, in new-to-them aloha shirts.  The mood suggested adolescents at a first dance, the combination of excitement and possibility enhanced with a donut-like glaze of mild apprehension and disbelief that this was really happening.  It demands the flexibility of a contortionist to move gracefully with the Cove's dramatic weather shifts, having awakened that day in what felt like early spring chill, then trying to segue without faltering to the short-sleeved evening that held a promise of  sno-cones for dessert.

Collectively relaxed of mind and body, the audience cheered the Hitchcock classic as it began and cheered again as it ended.  Though the sky was free of fog or clouds, the profusion of stars created an occasional distraction from the plot, while the moon was but a sliver.   One of Tribbee's well-worn sails made a serviceable screen.  It was announced, to almost no one's surprise, that they would show CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND the next night if the warm temperatures held.  In anticipation, some went home, rinsed out and hung up their shirts to be ready for an encore while others, some of whom had bought more than one, decided nature would, as usual, be running the show and besides, they had managed not to spill cherry syrup on their pink and yellow hibiscus print, in spite of soldiering through sno-cones in the dark.  Andy plugged in the fairy lights which he'd threaded through the smaller pines that afternoon, easing the way to cars or the paths home. As an engine started there was music, not intrusive, that rose and floated above the tree tops.   It was either the FM station from Valley Junior College or someone's home-brewed mix tape, sloping gently from "Moondance" to Jackson Browne.  Stay.  For those of a certain age with well-reviewed chapters of experience to prompt them, Billington's Cove just then tasted like a carnival and sounded like youth resurrected.


Erin in Morro Bay said...

I can't begin to tell you how much I enjoy Gloria, her friends and life in the cove. Keep it coming Marylinn - these are delightful and precious tales.

Marylinn Kelly said...

Erin - Thank you so much, so very much. It is my strong intention to keep it coming. I've decided that the only interruption will be to declare a certain collection of entries as "A Season," to be started up again at once. No agonizing waits (if I can help it) and no paltry number of episodes (Sherlock Holmes - sheesh). I love doing this, I love having these dear people confide in me, I feel honored to have been chosen as their storyteller. Who knew? xo