A good —— if somewhat unnerving —— writing day yesterday. I did 1,540 words on The Red Tree. I fear I have bound myself too closely to Sarah Crowe. And now, as I let her fall, the world seems unstable beneath my feet; as her sanity tatters, mine seems even less stable than usual. This feeling became a tangible anxiety yesterday. There will be so many readers who say that she is "unsympathetic," or that they can't empathize with her, or what the fuck ever. Here I am, so deep into her I can hardly tell where she begins and I end, or vice versa.
I was able to start writing before 12:30 p.m. yesterday, and finished up sometime between three and three thirty. Which meant we had time to head for Beavertail on Conanicut Island. We didn't even read the day's pages first, as we always do. After all, I said, they would be here when we got home. I dressed quickly (and gods, I have to buy some clothes, because, really, we're talking rags at this point) and we headed out of Providence on I-95 South, to Route 4, to Route 1, which we took to Route 138, crossing over the western passage of Narragansett Bay, over the bridge to the island. All along the highway, the trees have gone brilliant shades of autumn, colours beyond recounting in mere words. I need to get photos before they fade. Fortunately, there were enough clouds, and it was late enough in the day, I did not find the sky too very disquieting.
In Jamestown, we stopped at McQuade's Market, where we usually stop, because we were both feeling peckish. While looking for a pack of cheddar goldfish, we were assailed by the market's stereo with "Sweet Home Alabama." Jesus fuck, I was pretty sure I'd never have to hear that ignorant, racist song again. I'd have thought it would be the last thing I'd ever have to hear playing in a small New England grocery. Wrong. Anyway, past Mackerel Cove, it's a straight shot south to Beavertail. We parked on the western side of the point, deciding to explore the rocks on that shore, for a change.
The tide, though coming in, was still very far out, and we were able to see some beautiful tide pools. In amongst the wildly contorted Proterozoic strata, we spotted small fish, an assortment of hermit crabs (Pagurus spp.), small spider crabs (Libinia spp.), and a number of different taxa of cancroids, including juvenile Rock crabs (Cancer irroratus). Spooky found the first starfish we've seen in Rhode Island, though it was dead. I'm pretty sure it was Asterias forbesi. There were all the usual snails —— periwinkles, dogwinkles, and whelks, along with an abundance of slipper shells. Barnacles, and kelp and dozens of other seaweeds. Dense beds of tiny blue mussels. We found a couple of pebbly beaches in the rocks, and spent an hour or so before sunset searching for beach glass. There's not nearly as much here as out at Fort Wetherill, farther east, but we both found some interesting pieces.
We stayed until the sun was vanishing behind mist and clouds, and the cold began to settle in for the night. We'd traveled maybe 350 yards over the shore (approx. 41°27'1.94"N, 71°23'59.75"W to 41°26'56.77"N, 71°23'58.08"W.). As the evening came on, we sat below the lighthouse, looking out towards Whale Rock (about a mile and a half out into the Bay, southwest from Beavertail). There was a little lighthouse on Whale Rock once, but it was destroyed in the Great Hurricane of 1938 and the keeper was killed. All that now remains is the foundation, clearly visible from Beavertail. So, I got my time with Panthalassa yesterday, and I'm better for it now. There are photos, which I'll try to post tomorrow.
It was almost dark by the time we got back to the car, and my ears were freezing because I'd used my tobaggan cap to hold shells and beach glass. I played Sigur Rós on the iPod, and dozed on the way home. Back in Providence, we picked up some dinner from Phoenix Dragon Restaurant on Broadway —— just fried rice and steamed dumplings —— takeaway because we were both so tired.
No movies last night. After dinner, a lot of World of Warcraft. I played Shaharrazad, my blood-elf warlock, who has reached Lvl 23, and headed back to the Ghostlands to finish up some quests there. Spooky was along as her blood-elf paladin, Suraa (Lvl 22). We slaughtered undead and trolls, and it was great fun. We entered Deathholme ("Little Mordor") and assasinated the four lieutenants of Dar'khan. We invaded the forest troll village Zeb'Nowa and brought the head of Kel'gash back to the Farstrider Enclave. Though, I have begun to feel sorry for my poor minion. Half the time I summon Zhar'los, he moans, "I don't like this place." I take that to mean that the Ghostlands are actually less pleasant than the Underworld. For demons, anyway. We headed to bed a little after 2 ayem, and Spooky read to me from Poe's "Descent Into the Maelstrom" (1841).
And that was yesterday. Oh, here's the link to the current eBay autions. Now, the platypus....