The 6 month lease on the car we were using was up, and we had to go to the return place near Fiumicino, Rome’s airport. On the way back, in a newly leased Peugeot, we had the need to actually see the sea. But what a gritty stretch of used up and run down, Roman getaway string of beaches! After 15 minutes of trying to find some way on to the beaches we spent 5 minutes on the sand when Maggie said to me, “are you having fun here?” And up we got, but on the way off the beach I saw this dreamer drawing figures in the air, with a matching umbrella to boot.
Later, on a pull off near a gas station, I saw the burnt out wreckage of a tractor trailer and immediately pulled in to see what I might scavenge for my still lives. But on getting closer, and smelling that particular odor of burned metal, rubber, plastic, and assorted other materials, I was overcome by my memories of those smells, and this kind of physical ‘look,’ which I still carry with me from my 9 months inside Ground Zero.
I don’t know what the fascination is. Perhaps it’s seeing a whole thing reduced to its melted components while still retaining something of its original shape. To see this transformation and take the time to walk around it and consider it from every point of view, brings up a lot of thoughts and ideas, and sometimes a fresh image can appear.
While walking around this truck I was reminded of the time when a whale was washed up on the shore in Provincetown, not far from my house, and how it drew the attention of everyone who passed by on the beach. It was a solemn parade, with people needing to go over to it and stroke and commune with the now dead, but still mighty form.