I went to the beach alone this morning for breakfast. I had invited a young guy I had dinner with the other night to join me. It was supposed to be a date I guess. But he called last night and said he'd told a friend that he'd help her out with a charity event and was sorry, but could we do it some other time. Sheesh, I hate getting dumped for charity events. There's not a lot that can be said with an excuse like that. I had to appear gracious and supportive, even though I wasn't feeling particularly gracious or supportive. I was looking forward to perhaps holding his hand on the beach this morning...

So I ate alone but some guy who'd just come from Yoga class kept flirting with me and I almost got up the courage to go over and ask him if that uncontrollable blinking of his right eye was something he ought to have looked at by a professional. The owner of the Heidelberg Cafe` brought me my breakfast and wanted to know why on earth I was only having three scrambled eggs instead of my usual five. He was sure the kitchen had goofed up my order. Even though I had no good explanation for why I was eating three eggs instead of five this morning and was a little embarrassed that he'd pointed it out, it felt good to be acknowledged and remembered - even if it was just for the eggs.

Loneliness is sometimes rougher than other times. This morning as I sat on a chunk of quartz crystal that was emerging from the rocks watching the ocean doing her laundry, I saw a group of five brown pelicans fly overhead and there was a seagull flying in formation with them. Maybe he was lonely and just decided to get on board with whoever was available. Not a bad lesson for my Sunday morning on the beach in Laguna.

For most of my life I've had an unrequited love affair going on with myself. But something's changing and all of these disparate parts of my consciousness are starting to come together and answer each other's longing. I know that probably doesn't come off sounding like I'm yet ready to be released from the facility - but it's this thing of learning to be OK with the loneliness even when it hurts a little.

That sort of a thing.

This longing I often feel for companionship and to be back in Rome are probably always going to be with me. But being on the beach in Laguna this morning was perfect and so were the people I met along the way. It's what's here and now and it works. I sometimes miss what I've had and long for what I know I still could have - but what I have right now is good. The Pacific Ocean made sure I understood that this morning as she and I were chatting over laundry chores. She was grumbling but she wasn't complaining. And I guess that's kinda what I'm doing too - grumbling but not complaining.

I've never seen a seagull fly with pelicans before but it sure looked like a lot of fun.

From the water's edge...
Tom
Pelicans, Seagulls & Laundry Day At The Beach
March 16th, 2002

I listened to the ocean this morning - at first I thought she might be a little angry because of the storms and all - she was definitely worked up over something. But as I listened more closely, I realized that she was just very busy doing laundry and grumbling a little. The rains of the past couple of days have washed an enormous amount of junk down through the rivers and storm drains into her always open arms.

Her waters were pale brown as far as I could see except for a tiny strip of brackish green on the horizon. Judging from what was being thrown up onto the rocks where I was sitting, there was a lot more than just mud being washed into the ocean by the rains.

So, over and over and over, she pounded her dirty laundry against the rocks - swells much higher than usual and one coming one right on the heels of the last. Oh sure, you could say it was the storm that was kicking things up. But I was certain as I was sitting there this morning, that la bella Pacifica was just doing her laundry. Somebody has to clean up the mess we make around here.
Pussy Cap