Don\'t Lose That Number

A weekend heatwave brought a tremendous crowd to Scituate Light.  Some behaved and some did not.

We get guests on the beach and guests all around the Tower and the Jetties every day.  The numbers are incredible.  We have the greatest conversations on the fence and in the yard.  We see old friends and meet new ones.  Most people are good guests; they clean up after their dogs, they recognize the limits we have to place on access, they admire the Light and wish us well taking care of the site.  And as I noted, the numbers are incredible.  There could be one thousand people here on an average day.  Posing for pictures, walking the seawall, grabbing a hot dog, pacing the dog, reading the papers. All of these things happened here this weekend and in all that I  haven\’t a complaint.

But, (and you knew this was coming didn\’t you,) there is another list of activities that happens here that I can not applaud.

On Friday night I had to phone the police at around 11:00 when a group formed around the Tower and onto the Big Jetty that was determined to share a play by play account of the various indignities that exist when drinking beer and not having access to a restroom coincide.  Girls voices visited me as I was reading, at a pitch that shook the glasses in the cabinet, with nouns and verbs I would rather not hear next to each other if I have to hear them at all.  I have gone out to groups like these in the past and moved them on myself.  At the  end of the summer especially, groups meet here to add one more memory of the old home town before a new chapter begins some where else. This was different in that words were exchanged at a high decibel level that ought not be exchanged at all.  There was a shamelessness to the behavior. I considered going out with a camera to take some pictures until I recognized that there was no way to embarrass such people.  They had crossed over into another universe from mine; one where you could apparently be both physically and verbally disgusting en mass.  Scituate Police moved them on very quickly. I asked that they send the message that this is not the place for that alternative universe to reappear.

Saturday morning we had a great set of guests as an old friend and roommate of my brother brought his extended in laws to the Light. I got to practice for next weekend\’s open house and take some questions as we moved from the Utility Room with its new displays through the office, the runway and at last, the Tower. It was a wonderful visit for us and we hope for them.  Later in the day we caught them again as they headed out on a chartered boat for a cruise. It was a  perfect evening for that and a great day all around.

Sunday saw lots of weeds pulled up, gardens watered, a gutter repaired, and even a swim.  We had a ton of company all afternoon and we enjoyed all of it.  I sold a few shirts from a table set up in the yard as a fund raiser for the Cottage and the Tower.  I poured through a classic mystery, listened to the Sox.  There were all the elements in place for another perfect day.

Then the power went out.  It was nearly 9:00 when we lost it and we got our flashlights in place and read a little bit.  Around 10:30 it was time to go up to bed and call it a nearly perfect day.

When the power returned, the sound of computers and microwaves waking up, woke me up.  At about 3:00 I let the cat out, noticed a skunk in the courtyard by the office going to town on the clover, and, as I was heading back up to sleep, I heard something in the yard. At first I thought it was someone on the roof of the runway.

Window by window I checked, and as I went, I turned on some lights.  As I flicked on a kitchen light, I saw someone run across the yard and duck through the fence.  I came to the conclusion that there had been someone sitting in the Adirondack chair that I sat in all afternoon while I read. I began to wonder if the car break ins I had read about on Seaview and Scituate Aves had moved down to the Point.

That had me up and wide awake.  It was approaching 3:30.

I did not want to overreact.  I don\’t like to call and in the three plus years we have been here I have called all of four times prior to this weekend.  I want cars to come when I call but recognize that human nature being what it is, if I call once a week, they may not come as fast as I want them to.  I got a flashlight and went up stairs where I could scan around the Tower and the Jetty.  There didn\’t seem like too many voices out there and I only saw one car in the lot.  I decided this could be a couple using the wee hours of the morning to advance their relationship.  I was partially right.

By ten minutes to four it was quiet again. The lone car was still in place but I couldn\’t see any one or hear anyone. I had checked the door to the Tower, I had checked our cars.  The kayaks were fine. The flashlight and the flicking lights seemed to have done the trick.  I was just getting back to bed when I heard two voices approaching the car.  Oddly they did not get in and drive away.  The two of them began to wander toward Rebecca Road.  I decided I had to call again.  I told the dispatcher all that had transpired and that I couldn\’t go back to sleep until I knew that this wasn\’t a crew breaking into cars.

Down the street rolled three cruisers.  It was after four.  The couple was back at the car and greeted the officers like it wasn\’t four in the morning and it was as normal a thing in the world to be in the Lighthouse Parking lot hanging around.  I began to think the alternative universe had returned.  (I was also rooting for the skunk to play a role.) Inexplicably the two didn\’t get into the car and drive away.  I had only been partially right.  There were actually four of them and the driver and his femme fatale were missing!

The first young lady, (lets call her Doris, for the Doris Day voice she used when greeting the police) began to call out for her missing chauffeur.  Her partner was a young man making the continually perplexing fashion choice of boxers pulled up to mid chest and shorts dropped down to mid thigh. (I always think that kids dressed this way look like old men getting undressed.) We will call him Stanley Kowalski  as at one point he tore off his t shirt like Brando in Street Car Named Desire.  She was now using the voice of a thousand cigarettes and language that would make a prison guard blush.  It was ten after four and we have gone back into the twilight zone.

She called for him for about five minutes straight, using the voice of Vito Corleone with a head cold and the language of a deranged rapper trying to empty the cursing dictionary of all its adjectives.  I did not want to think about what he might be doing so I pulled the pillow over my head and began to catalog all the things I knew he was not doing.

He was not:  Solving Pi to a repeating decimal, chairing a Mensa meeting, debating the Supreme Court decision on the Affordable Care Act, gathering records needed to be considered as Mitt Romney\’s VP, writing a thank you card to his aunt, flossing his teeth, training for the Olympics, learning the Boy Scout pledge, writing a book, reading a book, researching the Higgs Bosun particle, trading recipes, trading baseball cards, playing Monopoly or home asleep.

He was also not:  Panning for gold, auditioning for Broadway, raising the Titanic, developing film, recovering from surgery, buying the world a Coke, renewing season tickets, parsing his words, playing Roulette, running laps, felling trees, digging ditches, or saving the whales.

I had many more but I began to entertain thoughts that I was crazed by sleep deprivation and that all of it was nothing but a bad dream.  Then I heard the laughing.

Doris and Stanley had at last been joined by Romeo and Juliet of the Jetty.  With their arms around each other they lolled across the parking lot in the halogen glare of the dark before dawn.  With a great deal of cheer they made their way to the car and at last took leave of Cedar Point.  In some ways a scene of great innocence and in others a trip to a maddening place where there isn\’t any sort of recognition that life can be anything better than coarse and animal.

I could do without this kind of visit.  I could do without having to watch the growing pains of the shameless and phony Doris and Stanleys of the world, seemingly raised by filthy mouthed wolves who see every place they go as an outhouse or brothel.  I did in fact get back to sleep in time for another amazing sun rise to wake me up. My first thought this morning:

Wouldn\’t it have been great if the skunk played a bigger role in the story?

5 responses to “Don\'t Lose That Number”

  1. love it!! and you have 6 more weeks to go!!


  2. Where's the skunk when you really need him?


  3. All I can say is \”FIVE MORE MINUTES\”!!!


  4. Ah, the memories of our misbegotten youth. I have been walking around the house saying it all week.


  5. I hope they weren't my kids. If they were, they snuck out of the house after we fell asleep.


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