Seabird Point, a short story

[short story by Sha’Tara]

Introduction: I ask myself so often, why do I writ these emotionally charged stories that tell stories that rarely, if at all, see real life emulate? Then I realize that what I cannot have; what man’s “real world” will not give me, I need to prove to myself that it can be regardless. Man’s “real life” is the fake news. This simple little story and how it concludes is “my” real life. I choose to believe that what you will read here could be the normal world you wake up to in the morning. Dream on? Sure, why not, I’ve spent much of my life dreaming until I made those dreams a reality I could not only live with, but actually love being a part of. So, have a look at an alternate world, and thank you for reading.
____________________________

Jeffrey Lewis is a rich man, at least by the standards of the ten or so thousand population of Seabird Point. He may not be well liked by the residents of his chosen locale, but they are deferential to him nevertheless since his pleasure craft factory employs most of them.

Seabird Point is a promontory that looks upon the open Atlantic and boasts a well-advertised seasonal tourist industry and between that and the Lewis Yacht Manufacturing Inc., the three mandatory schools – elementary, Middle and High; a lawyer’s office, real estate, the bank and a doctors’ clinic with part-time satellite medical drop in, not much else. Oh yes, I forgot to mention the Presbyterian church that serves for every kind of Christian and bake sale and craft event locals can dream up.

Sorry, I forgot another main aspect of Seabird Point, La Bella Roma Ristorante. How could I forget that? Apart from the yacht plant and government establishment, it’s the largest employer in town in the summer. It is also Jeffrey Lewis’ favourite eating place. Even at the height of the tourist season when every nook and cranny of Seabird Point has been rented out or filled in by unsuspecting south bound migratory tourists with more money than brains, Mr. Lewis can bring himself and his entourage to the Ristorante and get a table.

Today is such a day. It’s eighteen hundred hours; the sun is low but bright over the sparkling chop and not a cloud in the sky. A steady breeze stirs the magnolias restless. Voices of people can be heard through the smoke and aromas of barbecues behind scented flowery hedges. Well, what do you expect? This is, after all, Seabird Point. Are there problems here? At the height of tourist season? Certainly not outside the camouflage.

Jeffrey Lewis’ chauffeur driven limousine flashes its grey paint down the main avenue. He’s hungry and eager to find his comfortable place at the table overlooking the break water past the yacht club with its sea of waving masts and brightly reflecting hulls. The parking lot is full but that doesn’t matter. The imported British chauffeur stops the car by the steps leading to an open set of double doors. He briskly steps out and opens Mr. Lewis’ door. Jeffrey nods, puts his white yachting cap and jacket on and steps up. He is greeted by a young and very attractive hostess in a short black décolleté, past the usual Friday evening line-up of hopefuls for the lobster feast, to sit alone at his large empty table. The sea is beautiful this time of day he thinks as he receives his drink and the waiter makes a pretense of listing the menu specials. Jeffrey absentmindedly waves the card away to have his usual, specially prepared and served piping and spicy hot.

He waits. There’s a commotion at the entrance. He turns to observe, partially interested. A family of tourists, he expects, is getting antsy waiting for a table? He sees a wheelchair being pushed forward by a small woman, and pushed back by the hostess. Two waiters attend the scene. Interesting. No altercations are permitted on Seabird Point at the height of the tourist season. It’s just not in the program. Who is re-writing the lines? Everyone in town knows how to behave to pluck the most amount of money from the migration.

For some time now Jeffrey had begun thinking over his life. It had been exciting once but now that he owned the fastest racing yacht along the coast, where was the challenge to win a race, or the pleasure in receiving the expected award? The plant was doing well, certainly, but it was a boring enterprise over all. Mostly small orders for cheap fiberglass fishing boats. It smelled also, even in the office on the fourth floor of the Lewis Building three blocks from the factory. His wife had left him for a skipper and his two daughters were safely out of his reach, one in New York married to a law firm (or was it a lawyer?) and the other in San Francisco pretending to be an artist on his money. He’d had several affairs, but they were much like his contracts for small pleasure craft – they wouldn’t take a long voyage in deep waters. And Jeffrey had once loved deep waters.

He heard the woman pushing the wheel chair cry out. That’s it, he thought, I’m intervening in this. I can’t have this in my town. He gets up and walks tall and very white in his uniform, to the entrance. The woman holding the wheelchair is short, as he’d thought, but feisty. She wasn’t going to be pushed out so easily.

“Ah, excuse me please.” Everyone in Seabird Point knows Mr. Lewis’ voice.

Silence now, except for the woman who looks him in the eye and says: “Look, I don’t know who you be sir, but I know this. There’s a large table over there where you was sittin’ and I just asked if I could push my son’s wheelchair in and we could sit there. Me ‘n the three kids,” she points to a young girl of about fifteen years much taller than her mother and a younger boy about twelve, “been on our feet most of the day. Sir, my son in this here chair is dyin’ see? Some cancer thing they got more names fer ‘n Carter’s got pills is the cause.

“So I took my savin’s to bring him to this place as I was told of from my friend Cathy who does the Internet thing. Nice place she says, and beautiful view of the ocean. Took all I got but I reserved a bed and breakfast that would take my little Jeff in and we come by train yesterday. Today I made a reservation for dinner here so he could see the ocean while I fed him but they stuck us in the back along a windowless wall. That wasn’t the deal, sir. Jeff wanted to sit and watch the gulls soar, the yachts move on the water and the sun set on the open ocean. We be from Kentucky sir. There ain’t no ocean to see or smell. It was gonna be this one time for us all. Janie, will you wipe his mouth girl? Sorry sir, he can’t quite manage no more… and sometimes I think I won’t either, but each day comes and we manage it, all of us together.”

Customers and staff alike, everybody is struck dumb. The woman’s story hangs like a pall over their self-centered lives. But Jeffrey Lewis has a vision. A beatific vision. He is transported to some kind of heaven while listening to the woman’s dream. Such simplicity, such beauty. Hell, such power. In his mind he compares her to his prize yacht and realizes she is much more, by far. This is it, he thinks, this is what I’ve been waiting for, hell no, what I’ve been setting myself up for, all those years as seas just billowing past my bows as if I was nothing at all, just another piece of driftwood from an expensive wreck.

Tall and imposing, he looks down at the owner of La Bella Roma Ristorante, Mr. Arturo Bellini who, upon being advised of the commotion, had waddled his portly self to the scene still wearing his chef’s hat.

“Signore?” One word that leads to the predictable answer:

The servile tone is almost overbearing, “Ah, yes Mr. Lewis. We will escort her out immediately. I’ve called the police. There will be no more outburst, I promise you.”

“You don’t understand, Art.” Jeffrey intones in an exaggerated soft southern drawl, “Throw her out and I buy this place and shut it down. No, I burn it down myself and sit out there on the stone wall to watch until the wind blows away every speck of dust and rust of it. You will bring this woman and her family to my table now.”

He turns and walks back to his table, taking his drink to another seat, leaving the view side open for the wheelchair. He punches his cell phone and calls off the local constabulary. Then he makes two more phone calls, one to his pilot. The other to a private clinic in New York.

It’s a truly magnificent evening as the breeze dies down and the chop eases off. A small flock of rock doves lands among the terrace tables and the iridescent birds peck intently for fallen crumbs as the sun drops from a pink sky to a much deserved rest below the phosphorescent sea.

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14 thoughts on “Seabird Point, a short story

  1. gaya577

    Szép történet, köszönöm.

    Mentes a vírusoktól. http://www.avast.com

    2018-07-06 4:35 GMT+02:00 ~Burning Woman~ :

    > Sha’Tara posted: “[short story by Sha’Tara] Introduction: I ask myself so > often, why do I writ these emotionally charged stories that tell stories > that rarely, if at all, see real life emulate? Then I realize that what I > cannot have; what man’s “real world” will not give ” >

    Reply
  2. stolzyblog

    I came across a meditation last month I’d not seen before: picture a cup of shining fluid, and when you tilt it to pour, it keeps getting fuller. The alchemy of giving…
    Then I wonder why it is that BMW, Mercedes, and Cadillacs are seen everywhere. How do thy sell? Why are people so ignorant as to wish to stand out apart from others by the signal of their possessed symbols? Do they not see the seeds of isolation they plant?
    I spoke to an acquaintance some months back, 25 at most, clearly overworked, stressed out but blind to it, unable to interact socially as though a piece of his humanity were crippled. He told me about a mountain resort he liked to obtain solace at on the weekends, hiking, sporting, and so on. But I asked him why he chose that one in particular, so many hours away, driving with his hectic schedule, when there were many others nearby at closer range. And he said he likes it better, because it’s “classier”.
    And I knew only an enormous crisis in his future had the possibility to save him. But could tell him nothing. topsy-turvy, topsy-turvy.

    Reply
    1. Sha'Tara Post author

      Hubris – pride and greed, are possibly the most powerful motivators among the Earthian species. Those of us who choose not to follow that way must endlessly struggle against it. When I say pride and greed, I don’t mean only the elites and the rich, I include the entire rank and file that mocks, jeers, cheers, lusts, buys lotto tickets hoping for the big win. All those desires that war against the mind and brings it down to a lowest common denominator of “Trump lovers”.

      Reply
    1. Sha'Tara Post author

      Thank you for commenting on this story… I was beginning to wonder if anyone had noticed it passing by! 🙂

      Reply
      1. Sha'Tara Post author

        Good!  If I had a ticket you could have it, I don’t like traveling with a body.  Without the body it’s a hoot though, for those who know the rules! 

      2. equinoxio21

        An interesting perspective. I have written about places I have never been. e.g. Istanbul and Penang. But even though traveling in the flesh is increasingly tiring (thank the airlines for that) nothing beats walking the streets of Paris in a bodily manner. 🙂 Be good.

      3. Sha'Tara Post author

        Vicarious travel is good. One avoids airports (grrrrrrr!) and also nasty experiences like having your passport and wallet stolen, or being whacked by a speeding scooter. I remember walking the streets of Paris in my very last past life as a young French woman, from late 1940 until 1942 when I was arrested by the Gestapo for being a ‘partisane’ and died from SS torture in July of 1943. As Dickens would say, it was the best of times, it was the worst of times. I’ve never lost my love for the accordion (l’accordéon), the quick tongues and dismissive shrugs! Or the leers followed by, ‘Alors la belle, tu viens prendre un petit coup avec nous?’

      4. equinoxio21

        I would recommend Changi airport as another airport experience. My best ever. Ever so sorry about the Gestapo experience, but surely your latest avatar has been better. As for “le petit coup”, pas de souci, it will soon become illegal. Enfin.
        A bientôt. 😉
        I hope winks will not be outlawed

  3. Sha'Tara Post author

    “As for “le petit coup”, pas de souci, it will soon become illegal. Enfin. A bientôt. 😉
    I hope winks will not be outlawed”
    That sort of modern feminism is dragging society in the wrong direction. We should enjoy who we are; share what we have, please each other… but then I’ve never been able to fit in this society that frowns on free sexual expression, yet is more sexually perverted than ever and hardly bats an eye at the horror of war it is unleashing and supporting throughout the world. Insanity? To the max!

    Reply

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