Houblon Dobbelen (houblondobbelen) wrote,
Houblon Dobbelen

A Good Life

Августовские несколько дней на дюнах.
Заметил, что некоторые мысли выражаются лучше на другом языке. Destruction is creation.


A Good Life

I own a t-shirt, it is a color of carrot soup and it says "Life is Good." This statement has been questioned on at least one occasion: I know it because the feeling was put into words that time; I had read it in peoples' eyes many times before, but I was never certain whether it was an agreement or an equivocation. The moment of clarity occurred when I was standing in line among other hapless travelers whose plans were squashed by a sudden flight cancellation. It was in Germany and I was due to fly back home when the news was conveyed at the counter: "No flight today; please see representatives to re-book." I was second in line - "early to bed, early to rise" had paid off this time, seemingly. Behind me was an elderly German-American (or is it American-German?) couple, who spoke fluent German and clutched worn US passports in their hands. Each traveler was afforded ample attention with regards to their plans, which meant spending 20 to 30 minutes at the counter; however, despite an earnest intent to "work things out" (if I ever had to pick "customer representatives" from any nation, I'd hope mine would be Germans), dearth of options put a damper on all attempts. Mine, for example, offered me a number of choices that even the German represenative seemed to cringe at: A flight via Chicago and San Francisco (with an overnight stay); a flight via New York - with a midnight change of airports; a flight with an overnight stay in Boston and a subsequent one-stop early-morning jump. Stricken with indecision and the need to make space for next one in line, I hurriedly picked an option and turned around. That's when I saw the eyes of the German-American lady and heard her voice.

"So, life is not so good now, ah?"

I considered for a moment.

"No, life is still good. I've had worse."

I didn't mean to put her down or anything. I was just being truthful. It's a bit sad, though, if she really meant that. Unless air travel was a huge deal to her. Everyone has their demons.

If I were asked, what's "good life" to me, I'd say it is this. It is about a small town near big water. The "edge of the world" - be it Pismo Beach, or Kill Devil Hills, or an unknown little hamlet where the road runs into the Big Blue and grounds to a halt in amazement. I'll never live there, but some people will and are. They may live there in shacks close to the water - just bare essentials, that's all - but they wake up and see the surf and the sun and the million other things described in million other paeans to this...this, which is a daily existence of unburdened. A day that starts with fueling up for a frenzy of fighting the ocean - it is a fantasy, of course, albeit the one that is tried over and over - and ends with complete and total exhaustion, remedied by nothing more or less than a good circle of friends; and baskets of fried clams, and bowls of chowder, along with burgers and chips, and - yes! you've got to have those! - buckets of shrimp boiled with garlic and celery seeds and whatever else they grind into those 'secret recipes' - and to wash it all down with local brews by a gallon, only to be ready for a next day challenge...that is the deal, I tell you.

So, yeah, my life is good. As long as I hope and get to ride the waves. Once in a while.
After all, I've had it worse.
Tags: Америка, американцы, воспоминания, путешествия

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