Butter Fried Chicken
Today is the first day of quite an unexpected vacation. I didn’t realize I had vacation time to use and had to schedule it before April or lose it. Well. Thanks to my amazing supervisor, it all came together at the last minute. Here is what happened before 11:30 am this morning. Oh. And I will get to butter fried chicken in a minute.
I started the day with Cal awake before the kids. Made me happy because he is not normally awake before sunrise. If he is, it generally means he has yet to go to sleep. So, he got the kids awake and ready with me. I was looking forward to this morning because it meant I was going to be able to walk Numba 8 to the bus stop. This is one of the little things I miss so much now that I start work the second he walks out the door. This made my whole day. It’s the little things that matter. I am glad I am able to do things like this with the kids. While it may not seem much, it means more to the kids than parents often realize. It was a good feeling to wave him goodbye to start his day. I think it started both of our days off right. Cal’s too, because he always goes with us. He wants to make sure we are safe and that is important. Cal is a good man. A loving husband and father that is always watching out for his family. I love him so much.
After the sun came up, Cal went to work and I went and did an hour at the local community center. I swear that place always needs volunteers. After that, it was feeling marvellous outside and I decided to take the dogs for a walk. Initially, I was going to take our usual route. At the last minute, I changed my mind and headed off toward the beach. Puppy had never seen the ocean and I wanted to walk up the beach at least once during this week. Now was as good as ever.
After the mile trek there, we made a vee line to the water. With it being spring, there were quite a few people on the sand despite the fact it was a tad chilly for frolicking in the waste of the city. … … … Uh…did I say that out loud?? I meant the surf. So we walked south all the way to the inlet. About twoish miles. Along the way I noted people looking for shells, discussing interesting rocks, making sand castles, and getting excited over spotting dolpins out in the ocean. Yes. Pure joy as the dolphins broke water in between the pier and the oily, smoky, machinery laying underground pipes to send the city runoff further out to sea. Side note here: if you look at an arial view of our coastline, the water from the beach to about a half mile out is brownish. Mind you, it has not always been this way. All that vomit color is decades of runoff from our city streets. Fertilizer and chemicals from our lawns, dog waste, oil and gas from leaky cars, chemical decomposition of garbage, and even a few drunk pissings or two all come together and are directed to the sea. Yet we still run to places like this and play in it. I think of all this as I pass under the fishing pier and pass the dolphin watching family jump up and down with excitement. Yay. Yay. Don’t forget when you can no longer see BLUE ocean from your lovely spot there, visitor. I see you ignore steely, polluted progress in your glee. Ignorant. I used to be that way.
Coming out on the other side of the pier, me and my pack continue our walk. The puppy seems to handle this new environment well. I stop. For one fleeting moment I felt calm. I had a moment of “Oh. I love the beach. It feels great to be here and to be able to walk along the sandy shore.” After that moment I felt sick. Disgusted at how I could have ever loved a place such as this. Sure, the sound of the ocean is amazing. But this place. This here. It has put a fear into me that will never leave. We have a very high rate for human trafficking here. How could I have ever believed that it was okay to raise children here. Grey hairs have begun to frame my face because every time one of our children walk out the front door, if Cal or I is not with them, they are in danger. And this is the beloved beach? The water is forever polluted. Over the past few years, I have not been able to put my feet in the surf or risk swelling up like a tic. Doctor says its an allergy to ocean water. No. Its allergy to pollution.
I still am in search of the place where the ground will not vibrate under my feet. Ah, but I digress…
Where is the beloved beach. Its made a chicken out of me. Scared of people. Scared of processed foods. Scared of the ocean. Here I am in the south. Here I am; disgusted and afraid. I am still me. I am still real. Butter. Butter is real. Ah, yes. That’s me. Butter fried chicken. My thought as I stare off into the murky water of the city’s main inlet to the ocean. Ick.
Come on dogs. Let’s go home. We about face. Thinking the same thoughts in reverse as we make our way back up the beach to rest after our walk.
Heh. Butter fried chicken. That’s me.
What do YOU think?