Larry had missed the exit, but he didn’t mind; out here there were no mistakes, the coast just went on and on. The air in the cab blew his dry beach hair all around, the wind heavy with the glint off the marsh. It was a lovely hallucinogen, the sand on the plastic mats swirling at his feet. He wasn’t young anymore, but this was close. As close as he could come. Tackle shops and bait shacks. Bright colors. He’d love to hide away in one of these coves like Mickey Spillane, a little town of strangers to mildly mistrust, as opposed to the whole enchilada. His paranoia downsized to fit his local.
You could live cheap down here, like a real fuck-up. You could get away with some shit at the end of a dinky little street. Blaze away. Crank some tunes…
Larry pictured a tinder dry bungalow with a nice front porch.
A bleached-out, unattended green perhaps, with some heat cupped shingles, and faded white trim. With four of those tapered square columns, squat ornamental anchors atop a wrap around knee wall. Overly built it would seem, the prideful element of an otherwise humble structure. Something that could be screened in.
He’d sit and peer out into the small front yard, and down the empty road, shaded from the direct pounding of the afternoon sun… watching for any movement; whether it be the mailman, or some indigenous lizard; checking occasionally the level of his drink.
As long as they didn’t know you was a Yankee. A carpet baggin’ fucking Yankee… Oh that shit ain’t resolved, don’t kid yourself…
Still, it could be a succession of un interrupted beach days, free as the sound of a strangers laugh half-hidden by the rumble of the wind and surf, heard from the heat of a linen towel laid over grains by the billions; a gift from unknown lips, cherished as a most favored prayer.
Anyway think about it Lawrence…That whole mind set may be changing too. Half the guys you run into down here are retired firemen from Jersey…
Alone the ride was set solely to his standards. He moved briskly but within the law, the weather only catching up at a stoplights stillness, the lagging heat an instant’s wait, then surrounding hot on his forearms.
Iced tea or beer? How about a Titty bar? Maybe a Po-Boy when I stop. If I ever stop…
He sees a canal now, with intermittent cement bridges that lead to the outer-banks. Everybody’s turning left.
They have nice wide lanes down South, re-built thoroughfares, hewn out of the shit swamp gator rushes. Angry ants. Angry bees.
It’s a Kudzu harvest. Fuck the Spanish moss.
If he stopped he wanted to walk the whole coast, not resting till sundown. Either that or just fall in the sand and lay there, checking ass.
He wanted to continue, the air even hotter then before, blowing out the back windows, heating half his face. There was lazy potential, pure on open pores; he felt as he drove the falling away of all manufactured care, of obligation, of servile need. Even if he was only going to get some milk, some juice, and was expected to be back in a half hour to take the kids mini-golfing, Larry was beginning to relax.