This Sunday my adventure was full of adventure. I got the day off by agreeing to work two doubles in the near future. I slept in until 9am, unusual for me on a Sunday, and then put on my bathing suit, my sleeveless Bering Sea Pirate teeshirt, nipple guards, my iPod loaded with 1966 Grateful Dead and Steve Earle, jumped in the car and sped off to Verna’s to buy the donuts. The cooks were not expecting a donut delivery this morning; no brunch captain, no donuts, that’s how it is. It was a surprise delivery. This prompted a group hug. I think Mariposa had tears in his eyes. The temperature was in the 60s and the sky was blue. I left the restaurant running towards the river, my first long run since the marathon. Two fishermen hauled a rotund catfish out of the Charles as I ran by and hooted. Later I flew solo down the right lane of Memorial Drive, closed to cars on Sunday. I covered thirteen miles in just over two hours.
When I got back to the ECG, I ate at the bar and Brian Bro took real good care of me. I was sweating profusely and Brian was liberal with the liquids. He got me an ice water, a large orange juice, a ginger beer, a fruit smoothie, and a black coffee. At some point he started mixing the ginger beer and O.J. for me, a kind of A.A. mimosa. I ate runny eggs and got the hell out, went home and took a shower, and a nap, and read the paper, and listened to the radio. I’ve had an inclination to check out Deer Island for some time, there’s something about how it looks from the satellite map that compels me. Deer Island has been an interment camp for American Indians during Metacomet’s War; a landing point for thousands of Irish during the Potato Famine; a hospital; an almshouse; a jail. Currently the island is home to the second largest waste water facility in the U.S… “the 150 foot tall egg-like sludge digesters are major harbor landmarks.”
The plant processes waste from 43 nearby towns and cities but there is no public restroom on Deer Island. I watched the sun set and the planes soared overhead to land at Logan. Descending one after the other, jumbo jets and private jets, a procession of heavy metal birds swooping down from the sky to glide into the bleeding sun. I walked out to the tip of the island, by the giant windmills motionless in the still air, and urinated.
My time on Deer Island was short, and I never looked out to the sea, or walked along Point Shirley beach. There is a hill that looks out to the Atlantic Ocean that I would like to climb. I also want to go back to cover the 2.4 mile path around the island; it was getting too dark and my body was jangled from the morning run. Amidst the sludge treatment is this place of contradiction and calm. It is a remove from the city, similar to Northerly Island Park in Chicago, where I used to go late at night to stare out into the void. I have plans to return to climb the hill and sit on the bench and stare out at the gray ocean.
From the Sylvia Plath poem Point Shirley:
“Grey waves the stub-necked eiders ride.
A labor of love, and that labor lost.
Steadily the sea
Eats at Point Shirley. She died blessed,
And I come by
Bones, only bones, pawed and tossed,
A dog-faced sea.
The sun sinks under Boston, bloody red.”