Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Snow day--a purely gratuitous post

It's a snow day--I'm snuggled up inside, bleary-eyed from too little sleep anticipating the snow day.

The back's aching a bit from shoveling; I'm not a young man anymore. Imbolc is less than a week away. Spring becomes possible again.

Leslie just mentioned that Springsteen's "Girl's in Their Summer Clothes" used Asbury Park as the backdrop.

Leslie and I spent a good chunk of our summer nights on the boardwalk. We both played pinball, we both loved the beach, and we fell in love.

Either of us could rack up free games on a machine when we got zoned--I played Fireball, she played Old Chicago. On rare nights we could even sell our accumulated games. We played because we loved to play, but we played at the shore because of its wildness.

Wizard World in Long Branch marked the end of the boardwalk. We'd wander out of the fluorescent glow and cacophony of misfired dreams onto the beach. The dark shadows quickly swallowed us out of sight from those umbilically attached to their machines.

The beach at night remains a wilderness.

Every beach along the Jersey shore has its own patterns of breakers, of sound. Every beach has its characters, its history.

Even today, watching the video, I recognize the steep short break of the Asbury waves.

Where can a child find her wilderness today?

Wandering out at night along the beach reminded us that the world is immensely bigger than us. It didn't make us feel small--we were part of it.

We still are.

The Fireball shot is by Clay Harrell, who has a site here, and who fixes machines--he obviously loves pinball.

The Old Chicago backglass was shot by
Greg Rhomberg and can be found here.


Leslie said...

Omigosh--you found a picture of Old Chicago! Best. Pinball game. Ever.

Once after a night of too much pinball, your sister and I almost got swept off the jetty behind Wizard World when the waves got a little too happy.

We probably thought that was way more funny than it really was.

captainawsome said...

In a little more than two weeks is daylight savings time. Which means it won't be getting dark until after 6pm! I just got approved to start a community garden in my neigborhood and am even more impatient for spring to arrive.

doyle said...

Dear captainawesome,

We still have about 5 or 6 weeks before we get daylight savings time here. Send some light out way.

(Congrats on your garden--I may start a cold frame next weekend--early, true, but lettuce is a lot tougher than it looks.)