Saturday, November 01, 2008

Erin decided that we needed, our triumvirate, to do something for Halloween. he carved a pumpkin, and, dare I say, his finger (which I frequently did when I used to carve wood). Beth got some brie to bake, and also, scandalously, a morceau of some honest to god truffle infused cheese, tres cher mais delicieux. truffles are amazing, period. Beth and I had a bottle of Guigal Cotes du Rhone BLANC at the ready. thought to read something appropriate to the night but there's nothing on the shelf currently of that ilk or flav. so I offered to go to the library, looking for one of Edward Rowe Snow's books. okay, you don't know who he is. he wrote 100 or more books about New England legends and history, ghosts, pirates, and such like. he'd appear periodically on local tv, and I recall seeing one of his presentations, perhaps with the Cub Scouts, which included at least a couple of scared the bejesus "true" ghost stories. so that was my quest. I biked up to the library. the town centre was unusually clogged with traffic, and of course troops of costumed children with their parental units were all about. sirens were sounding, and when I reached the library, I saw smoke. a block from the library, a former school, now a collection of condominiums, was burning. the smoke was thick enough to irritate the eye. I went to the library entrance, only to discover a sign saying CLOSED DUE TO AIR QUALITY. as I was heading back home, sigh, 2 groups of teens convened. one fellow, coming from the fire, said, I'm going to be on television, yo. that yo demanded irony, but I am afraid the speaker thereof did not get the memo. the gist of that was the local newscast on which the kid believed he would appear. it really was a substantial fire, tho I did not attempt to get closer. tv news copters, I like to call them choppers, flew overhead. with smoke thick in the air, and throngs of excited children in costumes roaming all over (I think there might have been a gathering at the library), it was a pretty surreal scene. a beautiful fading autumn day, cloudless and still bright. I cycled home and bethought me plan B. I ended up reading an account on a sea serpent sighting in Provincetown (at the end of Cape Cod), from a 19th century book on the town. the witness, one George Washington Ready, somehow has a Professor attached to his name. I got the impression that he was more like the town rummy. there's a full front drawing of Professor Ready, aghast. one must presume from the pov that the sea serpent drew the picture. no, there is no picture of the serpent, just stunned Professor R. by his account, this creature was seen offshore, it made its way ashore, crawled to a pond and disappeared into it. in its progress it scorched the ground and sliced trees through. as it sunk into the pond the water receded. it left a 20' wide hole that was later plumbed to 250 fathoms without striking bottom. confirming what I believed, a fathom is 6'. do the arithmetic: sounds like Lovecraft material. another glance at the picture of the professor and you will realize that he had good reason for the look of disquiet on his face. a note at the end indicates that Mr. Ready resides at the head of Pearl Street, where he is willing to discuss the sighting further. perhaps a drop of the pure would make the telling go even better. we cycled to the fire saturday afternoon. it is this castle-like brick edifice, 4 stories high and more than a century old. the roof was burned thru. the place was cordoned off. workers and police were about, as well as the curious. Beth remarked how sad to a passerby, an older woman. this woman lived in a condo there. she said a worker soldering a copper gutter saw a spark get away. tho he responded quickly the fire was quicker. it was a breezy day. she seemed calm but she had yet to see the damage. she said she and her husband had given their place in town to their son, and could stay there. there's a sign near the building, with an old picture of it, to indicate the town;s history. someone, probably before the fire, had painted an X over it.
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