Saturday, July 5, 2008
Florence, Atlantic City, 196something
There was no guarantee we'd ever go away. Vacations were for other people. And summer was a stand-off between our need to have something to do during the day and their need to not have to think about it. Everything really worked much better when we were at school, he was at work and she was at the piano. Time stops for no man and neither did the seasons. Summer came. Repeatedly.
I am not sure what started it, how long it lasted and when it ended but Atlantic City became our Riviera for a couple of years. And with the recent purchase of a car needed to get my father to his job out on Long Island, it was accessible.
A giddiness would fill me at the exotic motel we stayed in with an ice machine nearby and a real swimming pool that was small enough paddle across, not like the huge ocean of Pitt Street Pool. The four of us in one room, two beds, no memory of how my sister and I negotiated sudden close space. I just remember all the old boarding houses and cheap motels pushing the boardwalk into the sea and the salt-water taffy stands, magic peelers that made radishes into flowers, and unspoken fear and desire holding me back from swimming to China.
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