Well, I’m here in Easthampton. (We left the day after my glorious birthday party, which still reverberates like a happy crystal…)
But I’m not really.
Like I do not venture beyond the compound of our hosts. I know. Some of you will think, well, if she likes Miami Beach then what’s so wrong with the Hamptons?
I’ve been trying to answer that question myself. Maybe I’m even writing this blog because I want to figure it out.
I know its not the obvious. Its not the A-types that are too master-of-the-universe-ish to stop at STOP signs, that will steal the last smoked duck out of your shopping cart at Citerella’s, cause wicker-burn by using their wicker baskets as tools of advancement in the Farmer’s Market’s line, or give you the finger when you point out that there is in fact a line to get onto the Shelter Island Ferry. Its not them. All that stuff is kinda funny in its own Hamptons way.
I’ve been coming here for more than twenty summers. I met husband here. He had a lovely Tech-Built home right on the beach. Every summer we spent a few weeks there (our days wedged between those of renters, siblings and parents). Iona was christened on our beach and two years later we got married in the same spot, Iona frantically trying to plant her “flower girl” sunflower in the sand. The twins spent the first weeks of their life under a mosquito net on the deck overlooking the bay. We gave many infamous July 4th parties enjoying our (Devon Yacht Club) neighbor’s fireworks and were complicit in George Plimpton’s last wish to have his ashes blown in one last glorious glittering fire work shower over Gardiner’s Bay.
Then we sold the house, to Piccaso’s daughter Maya, and moved on. Still we come back every summer, stay with friends for a week or so. Husband has such yearnings here, for a childhood lost, for the way life used to be, for lost possibilities, expectations, friends and an ex-wife. He even wrote a book, Weekend Utopia, about the vanished dream that is the Hamptons.
But I don’t yearn. Not for the days when we first met here. Not for the years between then and having kids, not for my wedding day, the parties, the family dinners on the porch watching fiery sunsets… I enjoyed it all, but I don’t pine. Not at all.
So I wonder about this blanket of melancholy that covers me. Here, now, just off route 27 in Easthampton. Could it be that a layer of one of husband’s shadows hovers over me? Like one of his smaller ghosts is trying to rattle me? After all we’ve been together 20 years, like practically 24/7. I’m not trying to pass the buck, but shit, I’m happy when he’s happy so why not pick up on his melancholy?
It’s curious. We’re going home tomorrow, after the memorial service of an old friend’s mother, and I know I’ll be myself again as soon as we head west.
I’m the kind of person who wants to know what bothers her now, right now, right here, analyze and fix it.
Maybe. In this case of Hampton Blues I’m just going to have to let it go….
Just breathe deep…
and let it go….