Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Philosophy of time travel

I am trying to buy a bag of potatoes and I don't know how. There is a potato farmer down the road, that has a sign at the road advertising potatoes, $10 for fifty pounds, and I would love to buy some—we've been out since before Christmas, which maybe shows where I fall down on the rice/potato conundrum—but his driveway, leading up to a siloed factory-looking metal warehouse structure, is a sheet of flat ice.

I'm just not eager to wander up to some door, wearing my going-to-town clothes, because that's the only way I'll justify the gas to drive there, and wrestle a fifty-pound bag of potatoes across a sheet of ice.

Face it, I'm scared. Of potatoes. Of an aspect of a cultural experience up here that I don't understand. How does one buy potatoes from a potato farmer?

There's a butcher right down from the potato farmer that I'm too scared to visit also. He has a nice little sign: custom meat-slaughtering, cattle, sheep, hogs. I'd love some nice mutton bones for borscht or a beef heart for the dog. They're supposed to give these things away for free, and still I can't convince myself to park in the driveway.

It's risking shame that's the hardest part of being an outsider. Even though I'm sure everyone already knows I don't belong.

3 comments:

wfrenn said...

Have you tried getting their number online and calling them to ask how best to get to them. I am sure they would not consider a customer an outsider.
Alternately, you could ask around how people get up icy driveways and convince themselves to park in driveways.
Outsider? Introduce yourself: Hi, I am a young, creative, imaginative writer. Perhaps you have read my
stuff online or a publication of mine. I am a bit new to this area and embarrasssed at not knowing how to navigate in the cold. Could I impose on you for some advice?
Done. Solved. Beware of turning opportunities into obstacles.

The Capt'n

wfrenn said...

Melissa,
Back to the picture of Secret on your blog entry of last week.
It breaks my heart to see Secret afloat on the edge of shallow mangroves. Does she not still call out to you? She does to me, and I am not even the former owner.
Or have you moved on? I agree,
Crooked Island is a beautiful and alluring island, as are many of the Bahamas chain. I know you have moved on personally in your life, and now are searching for a nice Pied d'Terre. But, have you swallowed the anchor for sure, or can you see yourself returning to the Bahamas again?
I think a lot of your sailing readers would welcome you back!

The Capt'n

Melissa said...

One of the challenges of life here is a lack of internet access for looking up numbers like that--and I doubt that the potato farmer has a website. Few people here do. The challenge is one of boldness--all of the driveways around here are slippery. You walk on them. It's shame that keeps me from admitting to other people that I don't know how they do things. I agree that it's something I need to get over.

As for Secret: it has broken my heart for many years to think of her all alone in French Wells, but when I sold her, I had to leave her in other people's capable hands and move on. Frankly, I'm relieved that she wasn't utterly destroyed by a hurricane whose eye moved directly over her location, and I'm hopeful that her current owner will salvage her. I could see myself returning to the Bahamas, and I'd love to sail again, but even if I made that choice I'm not sure Secret would be the boat I'd return to.