Lizzie Borden, That Beach

Well, I made it here.  I love everything about the beach except for the salt, sand, and sun. The place is paid for though, through May. I’m going to take advantage of it, and lock myself inside, and work intensely, and not frolic in the ocean, and not take long walks in the sand. (Unless, of course, I’m looking for my marbles.)

Now, as far as taste and comfort are concerned I prefer historic homes, dark colors, and creepy corners. I don’t like light or airy anything. (Except for sundresses.)  I suffer from insomnia, dog ears, and acute photosensitivity. I lug my own linens and pillows with me everywhere I go because of my chemical sensitivities. I would much rather smell ten bowel movements than a bottle of powder-scented Tide. (Which is good because my son has bowel disease.) I bring a fan or noisemaker with me everywhere because it helps me sleep. And I hate anything coarse or scratchy, like percale sheets or designer shirt tags.

My arrival here last night was a bit coarse. When I pulled into the carport the first thing I did was look down and curse the ground. There were no stepping stones to the wooden staircase so I sloshed through the sandy muck in new sandals to reach the stairs. I shouldn’t have carried a suitcase, computer, and groceries all at the same time. When I finally found the correct key to enter the house I could tell immediately that the interior had been freshly painted.  “Oh my God,” I whispered out loud. “Shit!”  I could already feel a headache making its way into my skull. I flew with everything in my arms to the second floor.  It was hot and stubbornly cheery but at least it didn’t smell like Kilz.

Right now I’m writing from a boat-themed guest bedroom.  I can see out into the kitchen, which is conveniently located on this floor. It’s actually cozy and intimate up here despite the bright blues and greens. And I can hear the waves drone near my window.  I’m looking forward to an uneventful, well-rested, productive five days. And I won’t make the same mistake I did last night of turning on the TV before dinner.  It was set on Lifetime.  This didn’t bother me because I’ve never been interested in cheesy lady channels. But I didn’t change the station.

A program had just started about Lizzie Borden starring Christina Ricci. I like her, (Christina, not Lizzie) and I was certainly familiar with the grisly story.  I slowly became affixed to my multi-striped, bamboo chair. It’s odd because I hate blood and gore.  But I love history and good costuming, and Ricci was excellent.  Kind of like Wednesday Adams with an axe. I binged on five shows in a row. Five. I didn’t even get up to go to the bathroom, and I have a notoriously small bladder. I was ashamed of myself because I’d escaped to the beach to recharge and get creative. All I was doing was eating tortilla chips and applauding someone else’s bloody creativity.

When I went to bed last night I didn’t.  Maybe because I wasn’t sinking into a marshmallow hotel mattress with a room service menu on the nightstand. I was trying to sleep in a strange house with fifty bedrooms, after watching fifty episodes of Lizzie Borden. I was so skittish I had to leave the lights on. And when I actually did doze off I kept dreaming the impossible dream. You know, the nightmare kind where you can’t escape.

I was punished for my bad judgment when I woke up this morning to scalding light burning into my eyeballs.  Sunshine had managed to find my eyelids through the cracks of the plastic blinds.  Blind being the operative word. I stumbled into several walls trying to find the kitchen through the slits of my hands.  I finally found my sunglasses on the table. The kitchen was white-washed too.  Will I ever be able to work in this sunny, solar surround sound? You bet.