I haven’t been down to this spot since last fall, it’s a spot that I’ve visited often since moving to Goose Bay many years ago. It’s known locally as ‘middle-dock,’ the dock between Otter Creek Sea Plane Base and Terrington Basin main dock.
Now, it appears, the area is no longer accessible. The sign to the right says that this area is now owned by a local hunting/fishing/boating club and is under renovation to add in a boat launch. Private. Members only.
I have a lot of history with this space, good and bad.
At the end of this road, which you can’t fully appreciate because of the gate, there’s a small wooden dock and there used to be lots of trees and shrubs. I have spent, most likely, hundreds of hours here over the years observing wildlife and taking the time to let my overthinking brain heal.
This spot held a first kiss. It has held buckets of tears. It has held nights of starry skies and northern lights observances. This spot has held unwanted advances, and thoughts of packing it in and moving away. Cup after cup of coffee. Silent moments observing wild ducks and geese, and seasonal photo taking of float planes and summer adventurers.
I’ve had more experiences at this dock than is kosher to share with you; some deep, buried experiences that are between me and the air that surrounds me. I always attached those hard experiences with the space, but now that I’m blocked from visiting the spot, I realize that it wasn’t the space that hurt or held me, it was me.
It’s time to forgive the spaces that are frozen in my memory, attached to negative thoughts. This is no longer useful to me. We leave our mark on every space we occupy, and we take photos so that we don’t forget that moment in time.
I remember the night we spent in the park, sitting on the child’s play set. We drank beer and talked in obnoxious tones until god knows how late. That was the moment I knew we would never work. I think you knew it then too. That was so out of character for me.
I remember the wooden platform was wet. I was wearing my faded black pants with the holes near the knees. I remember picking at the hem near my foot…trying to distract myself from the obvious distaste in the air. You just kept on drinking. I can still hear you swallow, that sound the bottle made when your lips released their clasp.
I remember the light rain and how I was glad, for a moment, because maybe you wouldn’t see that I was crying. I remember my voice shaking. “I’m just cold,” I would respond.
I remember the piano playing at the top of the hill. It was an unmistakable sound that tore away at my darkest feelings.
I remember sitting on the swing and closing my eyes and wishing everything away. Every moment that had passed and every moment that would pass in the next twenty days.
Beethoven kept on playing.
My fingers traced the chains that kept me afloat. It was the most I had ever collectively felt at one moment in time. It was sadness, regret, remorse, disgust. It was murderous, and pleasurable, and it ripped away at the protective layers of my barely beating heart. There was no going back. Just a stumble forward.
The night closed in, the dark a terribly desperate release that almost swallowed me whole.
Trying to keep an open mind
Or at least a clear one.
I see you everywhere.
It’s like a curse that follows
Until we’re not busy
Then it comes creeping
with the power to make me lose
Water from my eyes.
Aches in my bones,
like a mental arthritis.
You just keep calling
With all those dark treetops
And faded sunsets
And frogs singing
And boats boating
And lazy Sundays
Licking ice cream
and buying useless lawn chairs.
It always comes creeping
Just when I start to forget
I’m still inside the sandstorm
With or without you.